Thursday, July 8


This past week I struggled with chapter 20.

Now, this is my process.

1. Write the first version in long hand, type it into the computer, editing and filling in (not enough, just ask Christi).

2. Print that up and fill in some more (at this point, Christi is wondering if I start out with merely a paragraph). And I check for the "funny".

3. Enter those changes into the computer and print out another copy.

4. Give my 20 yo daughter and chief Bix consultant, Jordan, that copy. I usually watch her or at the very least, listen for the laugh--and then make sure she's laughing at the right places.

5. Take her suggestions and make changes or adjustments as needed.

6. Submit to my CP's.

For chapter 20 I got stuck on step 2. Writing, rewriting, and knowing something wasn't working. I kept printing out copies and trying to fix it. Finally four or five copies in, I gave it to Jordan. After reading it, she says, "Does Caitlyn have to be the love interest because I'm really not liking her anymore."

So as I'm driving and thinking, I realize she's right. I was forcing---which is why it was a struggle to begin with---a confrontation scene between Bix and Caitlyn. And the reason she gets mad doesn't make any sense and makes her come off as a shrew. Who wants the hero to end up with a teenaged shrew??

So, now I'm off to cut chapter 20 and skip that entire episode and move onto chapter 21--which is the first publication of Bix's column. And therein is another realization, if I can skip that entire confrontation and continue the story without missing a beat, did ireally need it?

So, today, let's share outtake stories...your turn.


  1. Margie~
    I always liked Darby as the heroine. I know she's a lesbian, but have you ever considered rethinking that?
    Now before everyone starts barking at me that I'm a homophobe, I'm not. I just think Bix and Darby are so great together that it's a shame to waste the chemistry.

  2. Taking out is one of my best things. I hate to lose the word count, but also realize that some words are more inspired than others. I recently eliminated the beginning. Turns out I had started in the middle, which I like to do, but had not provided enough of the "old world view" to show the catalyst for change. The beginning changed twice after that, and I now I think its about right. The 'hook' and 'first five pages' get the story started and my readers are annoyed that they don't have more already. That's my story. Thanks, D'Ann.

  3. I have no outtakes - every word is golden until my editor tells me otherwise:). Seriously, I'm kind of a single draft writer, so I've never cut an entire scene. I think I'd lose the flow. But you lost me with your 1st sentence - you write everything long hand, then type it in?!?!?! Wow!

  4. What D'Ann said, and I'm not a homophobe, either. Their chemistry is just so good, 'cause they have the liking each other part down and that's so cool with me!

    If I cut scenes, I save them in a notes folder so that maybe I'll luck out later and use at least parts of them.

    Great post, BTW.

  5. D'Ann and Liz,while I have no plans to make Darby straight, you're going to love the next chapter ;)

    Christi, I seem to think better when I write by hand..LOL.. and generally I don't cut stuff until I've written myself into a corner and it's not going where I want it to. The pantser in me.

    But like Liz, it's never truly gone, just moved into a new neighborhood (file)

  6. Margie..I really like the Darby/Bix friendship....and the way Darby hit on Bix's mom. that was funny. =) And I'm a champion cutter/mover/paster....Elmer glue is my best friend. =)