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Monday, July 25, 2016

P - Playground / Deleted Scene from Seismic Crimes





When you’re a writer, you end up cutting unnecessary scenes from your book that are extra fluff. In Seismic Crimes, I had written a playground fight scene. It’s a flashback on Donovan’s childhood and gives us special insight into what he was like as a kid, and what he had gone through having a drunk, worthless father and a mother who had to raise him alone. I adored the scene but ended up having to delete it because, although it was cute and funny, it didn’t add to the story.

I always keep whatever I end up having to delete from my projects. So now I can share this scene with you!

Deleted Scene:

On the day before Christmas break, Donovan’s class, along with the other fourth grade classes, ventured outdoors into the cold. A carpet of gray clouds smothered the sky. Snow flurries danced through the air, swaying from side to side as they fell. Donovan ran around the playground with his group of friends. Being free, after being cooped up all day doing silly art projects like making reindeer with his feet, felt great. He didn’t even care that it was freezing. The fact that winter break was a few hours away and counting made playtime even more delicious.

Donovan was in a heated game of tag when someone shoved him from behind and he fell into the snow. The fall caught him off guard. His hands dove through the snow and frozen pieces of mulch stabbed his palms. He turned over to look up at his attacker, a boy with a twisted, angry face.

Donovan jumped to his feet and brushed snow off his clothes. “What’s your problem, Miles?”

Miles crossed his arms over his one-too-many-cupcakes belly. “You’re my problem.”

“I haven’t done anything to you.”

“You didn’t have to. Your face is enough to make me mad.”

One of Donovan’s friends laughed from behind him. “You’re mad that you’re ugly and 
Donovan’s not?”

The surrounding children joined in with hoots and hollers.

“Shut up!” Miles stepped forward, getting toe to toe with Donovan. “I don’t have to explain why I don’t like you.”

Donovan glared into Miles’ mucus-green eyes. “If you’re in my face you do.”

“Alright, Donovan, I don’t like you because you’re a bastard. Your dad is a dumbass drunk and your mom is a whore.”

Donovan couldn’t care less what anyone said about his biological father—or sperm donor, which was a more appropriate term for the man who wasn’t in his life—because there was a safe bet he thought the same things or worse. But the moment anyone said something about his mom—a beautiful, sweet, loving woman—he snapped.

He launched himself at Miles, taking him down as if his body was full of gooey frosting. His fist pounded Miles’ face once, twice, three times before a recess monitor yanked him off Miles. Blood streamed from Miles’ nose like cherry filling squirting from a jelly donut. The principal suspended Donovan for two days following Christmas break, but the punishment didn’t bother him in the least. Punching Miles felt good. He didn’t regret getting into a fist fight, and he knew he’d do it again.


To read more from Seismic Crimes, go to Amazon.



54 comments:

  1. This is a great scene. Sometimes it's hard to cut what we love. The editor had me cut whole chapters from my latest. He said the story really began at a certain chapter. The others were not necessary. He was right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recently cut a chapter from one of mine because it wasn't the right beginning.

      Delete
  2. I can see why you like that scene. I think I would have done the same thing that Donovan after taunted about his mother.

    betty

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  3. Yup, I know about deleting scenes I like! Whole chapters even. It's hard to think of 4th graders talking the way Miles does, but I suppose these days some do.

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    1. Oh yes, they do. They also repeat what they hear. I'm sure that's the case here with Miles.

      Delete
  4. Can be rough to cut such good scenes indeed.

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    Replies
    1. It is. I was sad to see this one go.

      Delete
  5. I love deleted scenes. Then I get to figure out why it wasn't used. Would it have been better or worse?

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    Replies
    1. For this scene, my editor made me see that there was no reason for it. Miles doesn't come into the story. I manly wrote it, and liked it, for the insight into Donovan when he was a kid.

      Delete
  6. This was an excellent read Chrys, I did so enjoy it.
    Yvonne.

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  7. Mucus green eyes - great description.
    I have a scene from my third book I cut and I'm still saving.

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    Replies
    1. You should share that scene some time.

      Delete
  8. Your deleted scene could make a great beginning for a different story! I'm glad you saved it. Because it may not fit in one garden doesn't mean it won't bloom in another ;-)

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  9. Using deleted scenes in a blog for advertising? That's brilliant. I might have to steal this idea Chrys. It's always hard to cut out such things, even when you know it's the right thing for the story.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Deleted scenes are great. I keep telling a member of my writers group to cut unnecessary scenes, but they should go somewhere someday.

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    1. Yes! I save mine. Even if it's just to share it on my blog. :)

      Delete
  11. Great scene, Chrys. It's always sad when we write something we love, only to realize it just doesn't fit.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    Replies
    1. It is sad. I like being able to share them later, though. :)

      Delete
  12. Hi Chrys - essential to leave the reader with the story and no extra 'petticoats' ... However having that extra scene in hand for some other project will be helpful - cheers Hilary

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    Replies
    1. No extra "petticoats" is a great way to look at it.

      Delete
  13. Miles sounds like a cream puff. I'm glad Donovan gave him what for.
    Wow, having to cut out a piece you love, I don't know how I'd feel about doing that. Must be hard to do. Is that what's known as killing your darling?
    That was a nice piece to read. I'm glad Donova stood up for his mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, this is what is known as "killing your darlings." It's not easy but necessary.

      Donovan is a good man...in this scene he was a good boy.

      Delete
  14. Well, there goes my longing for a cherry-filled donut! :)

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  15. Gosh I delete SO much! And it hurts sometimes but we have to truly be honest with ourselves and if it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. That being said, GREAT scene! I'm glad you shared it!!! And Miles is one angry boy! I think the scene adds depth to his character, and if this is so good and didn't make it, I can only imagine the book! I have it on my TBR, can't wait to start! :D

    S.K. Anthony: Are Audiobooks Really Outselling Print Books?

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    1. I like that you said it adds depth to his character because that''s what this scene was supposed to do. :)

      Delete
  16. I get why sometimes scenes need to be cut. Thanks for sharing it. I enjoyed learning more about Donovan.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad. :) I enjoyed writing this scene.

      Delete
  17. Sounds like that was the beginning of Donovan not taking any crap from anyone and often times throwing the first punch. I love it!

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    Replies
    1. It was! I love that you saw that. :D

      Delete
  18. Intense scene. I see why Donovan fought back and won.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think that it would be cool if they had "deleted scenes" from the end of a book much like they do on a movie DVD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be cool! I'm sure self-publishers could do that.

      Delete
  20. It's hard to cut out beloved scenes, but it has to be done. I really enjoy reading your deleted scenes and glad you are making use of them :)Good for you! Have a super week.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicola! I'm really glad you enjoy them. :D

      Delete
  21. I don't blame him for fighting back.

    I always keep scenes I decided to delete. I have an entire big file of all the stuff I deleted from my first Russian historical. About 99% of the original 1993 material (from the first of my three major phases of working on the book) was either expunged or radically rewritten. When going through the book, I know exactly what's missing, and where, but it reads so much better without all that garbage I took out.

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    Replies
    1. Our first works tend to have a lot of garbage. I rewrite a series and so much is different. Then I rewrote book one and saved the stuff I took out, too.

      Delete
  22. Nice scene. Too bad it didn't fit into your story. I have a whole file dedicated to the stuff I've had to take out. Someday I'll find a way to publish it.

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  23. What a shame you had to delete it. I know how hard that can be. Great scene, Chrys. Maybe you can use it in another book.

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    Replies
    1. Deleting scenes is never fun but necessary. I don't know if I'll be able to use it in another book, buy I have it if I can. :)

      Delete
  24. Call someone's good mama a whore? Yeah he deserved every hit he got. Nasty little boy. I know violence isn't supposed to be the answer but people need to watch what they say to others. Not everything can easily end in turning the other cheek.

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    1. Yes! Donovan's mom is an amazing woman. She definitely didn't deserve to be called that.

      Delete
  25. Good reading through this scene. Interesting it didn't make the final story.

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  26. I love how level-headed you are, Chrys. There are scenes we love but we know we have to sit them out for this story. Perhaps they can be used, in a reincarnated form, for another?

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes I'm not so level-headed. ;) Deleted scenes can definitely be used in another form, for something else.

      Delete

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