Readers, please give a warm welcome to Author, John Coons, on tour today.
Making a Scene
Do you love deleted scenes? I can’t get enough of them. When I buy or rent a DVD to see a movie or binge-watch a full season of a TV show, I always check to see if it includes deleted scenes. I find it fascinating to see what the director left on the cutting room floor and how that decision ultimately influenced the final version of the story.
As an author, you influence the direction your story takes with the scenes you include and the ones you choose to leave to the imagination of your readers.
Making the cut
Deleted scenes usually get cut from the final draft for a good reason. Sometimes, these scenes end up being a tangent that bogs down the pacing and doesn’t move the story forward. Other times, they simply repeat information found elsewhere and serve no useful purpose.
Discarding a scene you spent hours or even days creating isn’t an easy thing for an author to do. If these scenes were of poor quality, making cuts would seem like an obvious and logical choice. That isn’t always the case with a deleted scene.
A scene can contain wonderful imagery, witty dialogue, or intriguing character moments and still interrupt the pace and flow of the main story. It creates a real dilemma for an author when they go from writing mode into editing mode. Ultimately, what you take out can have as much impact as what you choose to leave in the story.
My own deleted scenes
I faced a dilemma when I wrote my debut novel Pandora Reborn. I ended up removing multiple scenes I envisioned while writing the rough draft, mainly because they would have been seriously hokey or cheesy and undercut the tone I aimed for in the narrative. One scene didn’t fit that bill and it proved to be a tough cut.
I originally wanted to include a flashback sequence detailing how Casey and Christina became best friends before Ron connected with them in the story. It contained some cool imagery, fun dialogue, and a suspenseful moment or two that involved them facing down a monster.
Ultimately, I had no choice but to cut the scene since it created a tangent that interrupted the flow of the story. The scene also did not present any new information that readers didn’t get elsewhere.
I ended up facing a similar decision with a scene in Under a Fallen Sun. Early in the planning stage, I wanted to include a scene that featured Paige skipping out on a college party to scour social media posts to see if anyone had leads on the whereabouts of her missing brother Todd. This would have included a flashback sequence to a driveway basketball game between the two siblings. It offered a nice character moment, but really dragged down the pace of the story early in the narrative. I ultimately found other ways to showcase their relationship within the narrative.
Leaving Scenes Unseen
Some authors make the classic mistake of adding unnecessary scenes and subplots, thinking it will make their fictional world more immersive for their audience. What it accomplishes is turning their story into a tedious read.
Scenes must propel the story forward. Authors need to resist including a scene of any length that draws a reader out of a story. They should use enough brush strokes to paint a picture inside a reader’s mind and then leave it up to them to fill in the minor details.
An author can make their fictional world appear larger than what is shown on the page by including references and allusions to unseen events, characters, and interactions. It can show up in something as simple as a line of dialogue or a fleeting thought from a main character.
Hinting at what occurs off the page can be more fun for your reader because you invite them to open the door to their imagination and collaborate with you in building your fictional world.
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.