Let's skip back in time to 2012 and a post on my old blog that included this deleted scene from my first novel, A Ranger's Tale. Since then, I've created and murdered an astonishing amount of much better words, scenes and characters from many stories and books. It's kind of nice to wield such power. But I think I take it for granted more now than I did back then. In a way that's a good thing, because I'm not prone to hold on so tightly to what I've written. It was harder in 2012, just a couple books into my career, when every word seemed so precious. We as authors, however, must abide by the longstanding quote: "Kill your darlings." It's often attributed to William Faulkner, but this article reveals the real source of this exceptional advice.
I digressed a bit, so on with the show. If you'd like to see the the original post, click HERE.
Axed: Scenes That Didn't Make the Cut, #1
from May 24, 2012
Thanks to fab author, Tara Fox Hall, who wrote this inspiring blog post about not wasting deleted scenes and passages, I've decided to do a little series of scenes deleted from A Ranger's Tale and Serenya's Song. For various reasons, these bits of terrible and not-so-terrible prose had to be axed, so I'll share them with you as insight into why some things make it into an author's final draft and why some things don't.
Today's deleted scene didn't quite make it into A Ranger's Tale, though a critique partner had suggested
it. I liked the idea. Galadin had already met Caliphany and rescued her from an attempted kidnapping by this point. I thought having him show up at the ball in Chapter 4 might give Caliphany (Cali) the excuse she needed to ask him to train her. But, when all was said and done, I decided that, headstrong as she was, she needed to seek him out herself. Which, of course, she did, and the rest is history...
So now, for your amusement, here is all I managed to write of the ball scene, in its unedited glory:
Thanks to Leveren, a cousin a few times removed on my mother’s side, I got an invite to the banquet at the palace, of all places. I had only been in that massive white structure once or twice with my mother. She grew flowers of all sorts and sold them for a while to make fancy arrangements for the palace events.
Leveren was one of the city guards, and he would be in attendance for extra security. He recognized me right away, though I hadn’t the faintest idea who he was. I just nodded and pretended that I knew him, discreetly reading the name engraved on his breastplate.
He had this way of snickering after every few words. “Trudeaux, you should come tonight, ha, ha—there will be drinks galore, ha, ha, enough food to feed our entire army and then some.”
“I’m not exactly the right blood type, I’m afraid.”
“That won’t matter, ha, ha. The king’s allowing all of the guards to bring one guest, ha, ha. Oh, and there will be plenty of pretty young women there too, ha, ha.”
“I don’t…” But then, I thought I might catch a glimpse of those blue eyes again. “Sure, I’ll come along.”
“Great! Ha, ha. Just ask for me when you get there. I’ll escort you in, ha, ha.”
Night fell, and I made my way toward the palace. Leveren was waiting outside, and
seemed surprised to see me. I guess I surprised myself, too. Coming anywhere near Ravenwing could pose a problem. But, what could he do? I was just honoring an invitation, after all.
He led me to the ballroom. I wore a simple black mask, since Leveren had told me masks were optional. When we entered the great room, few people actually wore masks, and I hoped I wouldn’t stand out. Lovely elven ladies flitted about, and I snatched a glass of wine while I admired their curves.
Leveren nudged me. “See, I told you, ha ha. I’ll get back to my duties. Find me if you need anything.”
I nodded. Scanning the crowd, I looked for Cali. Then I wondered if I would recognize her from a distance. Some of the masks were flamboyant, covered with shiny gems and artificially dyed feathers.
Working my way around the periphery of the room, I searched the sea of female eyes. Some of the full-bloods noticed my ears, curled up their lips in disgust, and turned their backs toward me. I couldn’t help but snicker.
Q & A Time!
If you're a writer, what are some reasons that you've given scenes the axe?