Thursday, May 24, 2012

Axed: Scenes That Didn't Make the Cut, #1

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? 


  1. I chopped a certain kiss in TGW. It was a little too soon for smooches.

  2. Thanks for the kudos, Mysti :) I've cut scenes before because like Lindsay above, it was too soon for a character to go beyond the heated looks, or sometimes, because the characters I fantasized about having get together really were better suited to staying apart as friends. Sometimes I find myself getting off on a tangent that doesn't fit with where the story is going. But most of the time scenes get cut because guessed it...Word count. I had to lose 600 words out of the just accepted Make Mine Rare to fit the 1000K word limit, which was close to half the story.

  3. Great post! :)

    It is fun to go back and read scenes that had to be axed. In Guardian 2632, Zane had a few time travel missions that met with the delete button because they were not needed in the overall story. I also killed a scientist who had her own agenda at Guardian TMF since she took the story too far away from Zane.

  4. Nora, I could see those scenes playing out at the end of the Guardian movie. You could make them funny, I bet :)


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