Thursday, April 16, 2009
For the Better Good
Sometimes it’s necessary to cut a scene from your manuscript. It’s like performing surgery, or like I’d imagine performing surgery if I did that sort of thing. It’s a shame to never share it with someone. So I’ll share a scene or two with you. Not that the work is brilliant writing, but someone has to see it. It's true, I could probably use them again sometime, somewhere. To be honest, I file these scenes away in a file called "Cut Scene" and never look at them again, or rarely look at them again.
I’m going to let the scenes speak for themselves.
Cole dug deep trying to remember. “I was out there around the time you say the intruder tried to get into the house. I didn’t see anyone.”
Had he missed someone? It was dark, yes, but the street lights were bright enough to read by. How could he have missed an intruder? After Ancel’s girlfriend left and the gate had been closed, he’d left in the knowledge that all were tucked in safe for the night. The gate . . . “But the gate was closed,” Cole said. “Did they reopen it for some reason?”
The detective's face remained impassive. “There would have been enough time, while the gate was closing, for someone to sneak through.”
“But I didn’t see anyone go in," Cole said, “I stayed until the gate closed, and besides, I saw the surveillance car parked down the block. I assumed it was there for their security. Ask the cop who was sitting in it. If neither of us saw someone come or go, then . . . What, why are you looking at me like that?”
“There was no patrol car guarding the Troy’s home.”
Here’s another one I had to cut because the scene after it made this one redundant. It was over two thousand words, but taking it out added some much needed mystery. I won't make you suffer with the whole scene.
Cole heard someone walking his way and turned. A man and woman entered the garage from the elevators. The woman had layers of clothing that reminded Cole of a hippopotamus dressed in a tent. The man wore trendy jeans and a jacket. Both of them carried green canvas backpacks.
Non-stop chatter from the woman's shrill voice echoed off the walls. It set Cole’s teeth on edge. The man watched the ground as they walked, apparently, uninspired to contribute to the tête-à-tête. A sudden shift in the breeze brought a thick, disgusting stench.
Two more of the many, crazy, homeless people that hung out on the streets like the rubbish they were. Cole hated them. If he had his way, he’d shoot them all with his Browning. He considered popping these two right here, right now and felt for the gun he carried in a holster under his coat—so tempting.
The old woman spotted him and stopped. Her companion gazed at him through stringy blond hair. Cole sensed their wariness and squinted to make out their features, but in the dimness of the garage, their faces were in shadow.
This one was so much fluff, but I enjoyed writing it. It used to be the first paragraph in my book.
The sun disappeared into the ocean as if a bright orange button had dropped into tar. The effervescence snuffed out in an inky blackness so complete as to remove from sight any sign that a vast body of water lay between him and a vanished horizon.
Will, these aren't my best work, but they seemed to roll off the tips of my fingers so easily, I hated to let them go. But for the better good, it was necessary.