We all know how scenes get deleted from writing projects.
In Social Media Central, two characters showed up unannounced and wanted to stay. One was Felicity, a bookstore owner who ended up taking a major role in the novel. The other was introduced in a scene at the park. He too was telling me he wanted to stay, but after writing him in for one scene I decided against keeping him.
My problem with this character was that I’d have to change my ending, so after writing Kinsey (an intellectual love interest for Tayler) into a scene, I decided that the whole scene, and the other minor characters in it, had to go.
In the scenario below, Tayler has made other friends online. A group that would help him overthrow the biggest threat to Astra City. They would meet regularly and discuss their next moves. But at this late stage of the story, that was a lot of new characters to throw in.
This passage has been slightly changed to avoid spoilers-
Around this little room were the usual suspects. Kinsey, of course. Felicity and Shaun; goes without saying. Mike. And two buddies that Kinsey met online. They were always here, yet never had much to say. Samuel constantly had his nose in some book he’d just bought upstairs, and Jemima kept checking the validity of our arguments against information published on the web.
“What are you reading this time?” I asked Samuel.
“Something really old.” I stared into his ratty blond hair as his eyes never met mine. “They keep going to use something called a public phone. Imagine that.”
“According to SMC, they were coin operated,” said Jemima.
“Coin operated?” I queried. “What’s a coin?”
“It’s money,” Samuel replied. “It was a metal disc.”
“What? Like in ancient times?”
“According to this,” Jemima continued, “people used to carry these metal discs along with their paper version.”
Kinsey laughed. “No, seriously, they phased out coins about a hundred years ago. Too much work to produce.”
“How did you know this?”
“We talk about a lot of things online.”
An image flickered in my mind. “Hold on. I’ve seen coins. In old movies! They jangle.”
“And they kept trousers heavy. Maybe that’s why belts were invented.”
“Tayler, I never know when you’re being serious, and when you’re not.”
He had that cheeky smirk again. The one that had me secretly undressing him and leaping on top like a wild creature who never wants to be tamed. Okay, as corny as that sounded, my fantasies were getting that clichéd. I wanted him. Simple as that.
I don’t usually panster, preferring to plot a novel from start to finish. I let go of the reigns a little on Social Media Central and Kinsey was definitely inching his way into the story. But as I said, this would have made for a different ending. And when I have an ending, it doesn’t change.
There was one other scene that was also cut at my editor’s suggestion. Our cast discover a box of photos and rediscover the fashion, the poses and the facial expressions of decades long before any of them were born. They see human connection in these images.
Then Tayler shares his image files of his own childhood and we learn why he’s distant from his family. This chapter slowed the pace of the book at a point when the momentum had to keep moving. I’m considering rewording it for the sequel.
In the end, both Felicity and Kinsey surprised me. They led me into new territory with this futuristic tale. Felicity got her way. Sadly, Kinsey will have to wait for his own story, if that story is ever written.