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?
When I was first published, I viewed every word I wrote as a child of mine. The idea that an editor wanted me to change words, or, (heavens!) omit words, let alone a scene, made me think that person had no idea what they were doing! Then I had a few editors suggest changes that actually improved the flow of my stories. That made me remember back to when I'd write articles for a newsletter put out by the local chapter of a Moms-at-home group that I belonged to--I got quite a few essays published in it. But the editor, who was a mom-at-home like me, but who had been an actual editor for a publisher in her past life, or as we called it, BC (before children) told me I was a good writer in need of a good editor. I thought she had to be mistaken. But was it possible she was right?
I've had editors suggest that I omit scenes. If I can see why, and agree it would be a positive change, I've done it. More usually, I rewrite the scene, to make it fit the story arc better. But I wouldn't save the scene, unless it involved a supporting character, who I feel might be the heroine or hero of the next book in a series.
But Tegan met Alejandro Reyes through her friend Juanita Reyes, who is married to his brother Edgar. Once Tegan has her baby, Juanita and Edgar visit her in the hospital. I based their reaction to holding a new baby on something I actually experienced. So I had to give Juanita and Edgar their own chapter called Comfort Food. Edgar seduces Juanita in their car, begging her to have another baby, to add to their family--because that's how seeing a newborn affects both of them.
Since they weren't the focus of the story, the editor argued that chapter needed to be left out. But I told her Juanita and Edgar felt they weren't asking for much--their romance didn't need to be told in an entire book--they were content to be supporting characters. But since all they wanted was a chapter, I felt I owed it to them. I refused to drop it. The chapter is still in the book. And I got to feel silly trying to explain to someone how I have to listen to the voices in my head--lest they stop talking and I won't be able to write anymore!
Here's an excerpt from that chapter--
It was dark by the time Juanita and Edgar left the hospital. They had just gotten into the car when Edgar burst into gales of laughter. He laughed until there were tears in his eyes and said, in gasping breaths, things like,“Did you see his face? He’s acting like no one ever had a baby before! When he said he had no idea it was so hard to have a baby, I thought I was gonna have to leave the room so I didn’t laugh right in his face!”
Juanita let him laugh, then she patted his shoulder. “Let it go, Edgar. It’s not really that funny.” She eyed him thoughtfully. “I’m just glad you kept a straight face while he raved on and on about how wonderful his son is.”
Edgar turned to look at her. “After all of these years, after all of the abuse he has heaped on me, saying things like: Don’t you two have any other hobbies? and calling us breeders, I’m not supposed to be able to enjoy seeing him acting like such an idiot?”
Juanita shook her head. “He’s not acting like an idiot. He’s in love…with his first son and with his wife. Leave him alone and let him enjoy it.”
Edgar started the car, turned the heat on, then started to drive. “You mean, you forgive him for all of these years while we were having babies and he never thought it was any big deal? That never bothered you?”
Juanita nodded. “Yes, I forgive him.” She shook her head. “He didn’t know what he was missing, or how empty his life was. He was the one missing out on one of the best experiences of life. How could I get upset with his snarky comments when he didn’t know any better?”
Edgar chuckled. “Well, he knows better now. Did you see the look on his face when he got to change his first diaper? You’d have thought he was being given the most precious gift in the world instead of a diaper full of baby poop. Honestly, he looks like a love-sick puppy dog. And not anything like my always-in-control oldest brother. I guess he may be the oldest, but he’s always been a slow learner about what’s really important in life, huh?”
Juanita nodded. “I’m just glad he finally found someone to love, someone who loves him back. They belong together, and now they have a baby to keep them tied together. I’m happy for all of them.”
Edgar pulled into the driveway in front of his brother’s empty house and Juanita turned to him questioningly. He turned off the car unhooked his seatbelt and hers, then pulled her roughly over to him for a long kiss, involving dueling tongues and groping hands. His urgency surprised her.
He moved his mouth over her ear and whispered into it. “Let’s make another baby, cariña. I want you more than ever, my love…mi querida.”
Juanita smiled at her impetuous husband, who was in the process of trying to undo the buttons on her shirt. “Here? In the car? Now? Are you crazy?”
Edgar nodded. “Crazy for you, mi bonita ‘Nita. The only woman I have ever loved.”
Juanita touched his hand. “Edgar, my love, we agreed, no more babies. Seven was the last, you said.”
“No,” he said softly, while he continued to undo her clothing, “That was what you said. I only went along with it to keep you happy.”
His tongue traced a path from her mouth to her ear, then down her neck to the breasts he had freed from their bra and now held in his hands; he licked, then sucked at each one in turn, and smiled up at the soft sighs Juanita was making as she still tried to hold out against him.
“Uno mas…one more baby, ‘Nita. Then I promise, I’ll get myself fixed.”
She shook her head, looking dazed. “You said that the last time, then you didn’t.”
He smiled at her, kissing her eyelids. “I had my fingers crossed that time. Seven is such an odd number, my love. Let’s make it an even eight; then we’ll stop, I promise.”
How do other authors feel about this subject? Find out by hopping along!
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
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/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com