Please welcome Christ T. Kat who’s talking today about the pain of having to cut a scene, something most of us authors are very familiar with and some readers can undoubtedly appreciate.
Scenes that work in the story and scenes that don’t
Grace, thank you very much for having me. I’m here to talk about my new release, The Wolf and His Diva, a m/m shape-shifter romance which will be published by Dreamspinner Press on March 12th.
The Wolf and His Diva started its life as a free story early in 2013. At that point I joined a group of flash fiction writers (you can find us at http://wedbriefsfic.com/) and the story was called “To Love a Fox”. I had to stop writing the story because of several books in the production line as well as an increased workload in real life.
But—irritating how there’s always a but, isn’t it?—the story wouldn’t let go of me. So, in only a few weeks’ time, I wrote the whole story. When other people gave me their opinion on the first draft, I had to admit that some scenes didn’t need to be in the story. They didn’t move the plot forward, and after a long struggle, I cut some paragraphs or scenes. Sometimes, it’s no bother to cut because when I think about a particular scene it becomes obvious that it’s not necessary.
Other times, it almost hurts physically to cut a scene from the book. Anything I had to rewrite or change in The Wolf and His Diva hurt me because I adore George and Billy together. Billy in particular holds a very special place in my heart. He’s such a fun (and flamboyant) and loving character that I wanted everything to stay exactly the way I’d written it.
In the end, I did change certain parts. In chapter eleven, there’s a scene in which Billy wants to clean but the scene isn’t doing anything for the plot. However, it helps to give you a sense of how Billy works, how his relationship with George works, so I saved the deleted scene. In case you’re interested to read about Billy turning into a cleaning demon, I invite you to read the deleted scene below.
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4765
George Owens is comfortable with his life just the way it is. A wolf- and fox-shifter, George leads a reclusive lifestyle with his energetic and diva-ish mate Billy, a fox-and squirrel-shifter.
George has no desire to take over leadership of the pack, despite his father’s wishes. Edward Owens is feeling his age and wants to make sure the pack is in good hands should he not be able to win his next challenge. However, George is adamant that he wants no part of it.
But events rock George from his complacency, and he realizes he has to take a stand and fight for what he cares about. If he remains in the past and cannot change in order to do what he must, he risks losing everything he loves.
Deleted scene from chapter 11:
Around noon, George decided to take Billy out for lunch. He endured several threats to his manhood because he dared to interrupt Billy’s cleaning spree, but he stood firm in his decision.
“But George!” Billy whined. “Look at me! I’m all sweaty and unpresentable and there are only two cupboards left to do. I can’t stop now!”
George grasped Billy’s hips, lifted him from the highest step, wet cloth and soapy hands included, and kissed the tip of his nose. “I’m hungry and you won’t let me set a foot into the kitchen right now, hence we’re going out for lunch.”
“Ah! I hate that word.” George grabbed the cloth from Billy’s hand and threw it into the sink. He turned around, with Billy in his arms, and marched him away from the kitchen.
“The cupboards will still be waiting for you when we get back.”
“B—um, I’ll have lost my drive and won’t finish and then I’ll be unhappy because the kitchen is only half-finished and then I won’t be able to stop thinking about it and that inevitably will lead to me having a major meltdown!”
“You’re having that meltdown right now. Come on, hop under the shower and get dressed.”
George moved them at a steady pace toward the bathroom, realizing Billy didn’t put up a real fight.
“This is only a hint of a meltdown. You’ll feel sorry for yourself if you don’t let me finish now. Did you hear me? You’ll feel very sorry.”
“As long as I can feel sorry with a full stomach, all is well in my world.”
Billy stopped abruptly and turned around. He put his hands on his hips, opened his mouth to say something, but George thwarted every attempt at speech with a thorough kiss. A couple minutes later, Billy relaxed in George’s arms and his stomach grumbled loudly.
“Shower, then lunch,” George said.
“Yes, dear.” Billy tilted his head sideways and accentuated his coy attitude with an exaggerated flutter of his eyelashes. With a dramatic air, Billy spun around and rushed into the bathroom, leaving George with a silly grin, an empty stomach, and a good feeling.
They had lunch in one of their favorite restaurants, a small Italian family business, and took their time. Afterward, they drove home and Billy immediately claimed he needed to get back to his cupboards. George couldn’t understand why Billy became so restless, and even twitchy, as soon as they reached their home.
He needed all his persuasive power to get Billy to agree to a walk before they went inside. At first, he thought he’d regret that he’d been successful, but after walking for ten minutes, Billy mellowed considerably. He stopped chattering, but interlaced their hands and occasionally looked George’s way, always wearing a smile.
George could feel Billy’s contentment through their bond and did his best not to overload Billy on his emotions again. This was what he loved the most—those quiet moments with Billy, just the two of them, basking in a state of complacency.
The sereneness evaporated as soon as their home came back into view. Then Billy turned back into the cleaning demon from hell again. George had just unlocked the door when Billy rushed past him.
George hung up his jacket and put away his keys when Billy came back, changed into his cleaning clothes, a look of utter concentration on his face. George watched him empty the bucket and fill it anew, whistling as he waited.
George walked to Billy, cupped his face in his hands, and asked earnestly, “Having fun, babe?”
Billy shifted his weight from one foot to the other, then sighed. “You think I’m nuts, don’t you?”
“I think you’re adorable when you become the cleaning demon.”
Billy dove forward until his forehead thumped against George’s chest, and groaned, “Aw, shit! You do think I’m crazy. I can’t help it, really. It just… drives me crazy to leave it unfinished.”
“Just because I don’t understand what’s pushing you doesn’t mean I think you’re crazy. I’m just bewildered, that’s all,” George said. He pushed Billy off his chest and kissed him soundly. “When will I get the real you back?”
With a grin, Billy glanced at the kitchen clock, shrugged, and answered, “An hour? Two tops.”
“All right, I’ll be waiting for you with open arms.”
George stepped away from Billy and was already on his way to his laptop when he heard Billy add softly, “Thanks, George.”
Chris T. Kat
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.