Please welcome guest author Eliza Walker to the Cafe!
The first thing I do when I start a new book is to create a file with the name “Book Title”.
The second thing I do when I start a new book is to create a file with the name “Book Title-Deleted Scenes”.
Because, of course, re-writing is a huge part of writing (especially for me!) and lots of things end up on the cutting room floor. I’ve written enough books that I know my Deleted Scenes folder is going to be about 25-35% the size of the final book. So, if I write a 100K word novel, I’ll have a Deleted Scenes folder with about 25K of cut material in it.
When I knew I was going to be writing this post, I went back through the Deleted Scenes folder for my contemporary romance A Midsummer Night’s Fling. As I read through the document I remembered why I’d cut all of it. Too much description. Repetitive. A scene set up that I ended up relocating to somewhere else. Things like that. A lot of it is perfectly good, even enjoyable prose, but it just didn’t fit in the book for whatever reason.
Here are some of my favorite bits from my deleted scenes with my “writer’s commentary track” below.
But that was California personified, a microcosm of the great American melting pot. The glitz and glamour of Hollywood cheek by jowl with the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Superficiality and warmth. Cool blue ocean and smog-crusted sky.
I don’t remember what the context was for this bit of description, which probably shows it wasn’t plot necessary at all. I still like it, though.
When she went to open the door, he hopped over the edge of his bed and pounced on her, pinning her against the door with a rough, demanding kiss. She had to crane her head back to take everything he was giving her, and it was wet, hot, and wonderful. Until she banged her head on the door.
Max winced. “Sorry.”
“Ow. We have to work on that one.”
He kissed her palm. “Looking forward to it.”
This is a fun little interaction between my hero and heroine, but I rewrote it and switched the location somewhere else so it would be more relevant to the plot. I like to preserve the original version of these things, though, just in case I change my mind.
“Well, congratulations. Your pants are very tight. In all the land, there are no pants as tight as these.”
“You’re a horrible man.”
I think this scrap of dialogue was between the hero Max and his brother (they like to bust each other’s balls), but I can’t be sure. Again, funny dialogue, but nowhere it fit well in the book.
Ultimately, these cut snippets are fun, but I still think my best stuff ended up in the book. Like this, one of my all-time favorite parts from A Midsummer Night’s Fling:
Five years. Five years and it might as well have been a second. Or a lifetime. I don’t know him anymore. Didn’t know what he’d done for the last few years, didn’t know how he’d changed, who he was.
Skin remembered skin. And her mouth opened against his with the ease of tender familiarity. She didn’t really know him anymore, but her body remembered every inch of his, every touch, every breath they breathed together, every feeling.
A Midsummer Night’s Fling is out now as the inaugural book from Marie Force’s new Jack’s House Publishing. Thanks for having me on the blog.
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A Midsummer Night’s Fling
Sick of a touring actor’s vagabond life, Nicola returns to California to put the past firmly behind her. It would help if the six-foot-three-inch beautiful man who is her past didn’t come knocking. Max. The mistake Nicola can’t seem to stop making.
Though she has no desire to re-re-rekindle their old flame, Nicola jumps at his offer to play Titania to his Oberon. But when their first rehearsal kiss disintegrates into a passionate liplock, she’s tempted to jump ship before Max can break her heart again.
Unless he can convince her that the torch he’s been carrying is an eternal flame.
A Midsummer Night’s Fling Buy Links:
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Eliza Walker, a native of Los Angeles, is the author of the Much Ado About Love Series that begins with A Midsummer Night’s Fling. Her experiences as an actress helped inspire the series about actors finding love amidst the bedlam backstage at a world-class repertory theater. Once upon a time, Eliza met her own wonderful husband when they did a play together. Eliza and her husband live in sunny Southern California with two of the neediest housecats on the planet. Website: http://elizawalkerbooks.com/