Deleting scenes: Do you ever delete scenes? When and why do you delete them? And what do you do with them? Do you save them? Or just toss them? (from and thanks to Marci Baun)
I am a knitter. My Granny taught me to knit when I was 4. I can knit garter or stocking stitch while conductiong a conversation, while appearing in a play, while watching television… But I do, occasionally, drop a stitch.
That’s not the same as deleting a scene, but it does leave a hole. So does deleting a scene. While knitting, one diverts all one’s attention to the work in hand, rescues the dropped loop, reinstates it on the left-hand needle and tries again.
Deleting a scene comes at the end of a torturous period of trying to convince oneself it is necessary – it does fit there – you like it a lot and it’s your story – drat! It sends the story off on completely the wrong track – you’re a professional – delete it. It isn’t right for the market you’re aiming at.
Occasionally, I let them go off into the electronic trash can, but occasionally, I save them in an out-takes’ file. Here’s one I spent hours agonising over that didn’t make the finished work. It’s lovely to think one or two folk will now read it.
Genni shivered. The heating ran all night at a low level, but it was nearly Christmas and the rooms had been empty for most of the day.
“I was hoping that might be passion,” Paddy said with a passable attempt at nonchalance, “But I think it might be cold. Shall we see if we’ve flooded the bathroom yet?”
They were soon ensconced in the huge bath and Genni shivering again, but with delight as Paddy soaped her all over and gently massaged. Her muscles had been tense with exhaustion and his hands eased the stresses.
“Let me wash your hair,” she said. “I cannot believe how much plaster dust you’ve absorbed.”
“You should see the other guy,” Paddy quipped. He turned in the bath and leant back so she could rub shampoo through his hair. When she’d finished, he turned on the spray and passed it back to her so she could rinse the soap out of his hair.
Genni laughed as Paddy wrapped a huge bath sheet around her and rubbed her dry. He followed her through to the bedroom and they fell onto the bed together.
“And now, my little love,” he whispered.
“Yes, now,” she said knowing they were the last words she’d speak for a long time.
I edited this out of Christmas at Maldington House, pub DCThomson My Weekly pocket novels. MW2019 So pleased I’ve found another use for it.
I’ve sold another short novel to DCThomson since I last posted in the Round Robin. I don’t have a date yet, but it’s a Scottish-set Regency and will be out towards the end of the year.
Other writers have a view on this subject, too, and they’re listed below. If you write – do you save or trash?
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2n4
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com
Anne congratulations on your short story sale. It’s always a plus when research can do double duty. Informative post :-).
Thanks Connie and thanks for dropping by. curiously, in the final session of the RNA’s online conference, Beverley Jenkins spoke about how she can find herself re-writing round one perfect sentence until she finally cuts the whole para. Reassuring to hear that even at the top the problems are the same. anne
What a wonderful snippet! I love the lightheartedness, as well as the how comfortable the characters are with each other. Even without having read anymore of the book, I know quite a bit about Genni and Paddy. That’s good writing. 🙂
And, yes, I save my deleted scenes. I’m an electronic pack rat. LOL
Aw! Thanks, Marci. I really can’t write love scenes that aren’t light-hearted. anne
I don’t save dropped scenes. If it’s not needed in the story I put it in, then I figure it’s not needed–so I delete it.
Cute scene. Too bad the editor didn’t like it.
Hi Fiona, Looking round the piles of ‘might come in useful someday stuff’ in this house, I wish I could develop your attitude to not needed – or a little of it anyway. thanks for your kind words. anne
Love your post, Anne, and the comparison to knitting. Congrats on selling the short story.
Hi Beverley, thank you. Knitting has been such a big part of my leisure hours. anne
Great analogy of writing to knitting. I enjoyed the deleted excerpt.
Rhobin, thank you, Anne
Well done on being so professional to cut out what was a rather endearing scene. It is hard to cut work when it has taken time to shape. I would keep something like this – you never know…..
Hi Rosemary and thank you for dropping by. It is hard to cut things out but that’s one of the major differences between amateur and professional, I think. I do keep stuff – physical items, too. And, yes, some of it does come into its own. Anne
Excellent little scene, but why did you cut it?
Hi Bob, didn’t fit with the overall bedroom (or, as in this case, bathroom) door closed brief. Really pleased it’s getting an outing and people have enjoyed it. thanks for your own appreciation. Anne
Love the cut scene, Anne, and it’s great it’s had a chance at publication through your blog. I really like the idea of putting deleted scenes on a website. This is the perfect example. Congratulations on your sale to DC Thomson. I look forward to reading the story on release!
Hi Helena, thanks for dropping in. Yes, I thought I’d post it. And thanks re PN, likely to be the 2nd date of November. Anne