Friday, April 26, 2013

WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT THROWAWAY SCENES?




The term cutting room floor is used in the film industry as a figure of speech referring to unused film footage not included in the finished film. Many of the edited scenes were kept in cases, numbered and titled just in case they were needed later. Of course with the use of computers, scenes are no longer literally snipped and spliced onto a film but the edited scenes are still saved and many times become special outtakes or bloopers for DVDs. Today, author's can do the same with throwaway scenes that have been edited from the finished book. Many put them up on their websites. 
My guest, romance author Ashlyn Chase, discusses another use for throwaway scenes when starting a book, or in this case, a new series. 


Sometimes in order for writers to get to know their characters or get a feel for the overall conflict, they write a throwaway scene…a scene usually consisting of backstory that never makes it into the book. I haven’t done it often, but I found it helpful when beginning this series.

One of my most colorful characters is Mother Nature—head of the supernatural council. The council’s acronym is G.A.I.A. which stands for Gods And Immortals Association. Because of her snarky dialog, she may seem like an antagonist, but she’s really on the side of humans and paranormals alike. Like many a tough taskmaster, she’s simply trying to keep unruly characters in line.

I thought you might enjoy a glimpse from the editing floor…so to speak.


Mother Nature paced with her hands behind her back. She whirled on Mr. Balog and narrowed her eyes.

“You’re sure he’s a vampire and he’s opened a bar for all paranormals?”

“That’s the intel I’ve gathered.”

“Hmph. I cannot think of a stupider idea. Can you Balog?”

“No, Ma’am.”

She balled her fists. “What have I told you about calling me Ma’am?”

He bowed and stepped back. “My apologies, Gaia, er, Goddess.”

“That’s right. Gaia or Goddess. I may be older than dirt, but you don’t have to rub it in my face by calling me Ma’am.”

“I’m sorry.”

Gaia folded her arms. “Apology accepted. Now what are we going to do about this bar? Before the Werewolves and Vampires have a pissing contest in front of the humans.”

“Pissing contest? Do you really think they’d—”

“Gaaah! It’s an expression, you dimwit. Get with the lingo of your adopted land. Do you think I brought you over from Romania for nothing?”

“Yes, Goddess. I mean, no, Goddess. I mean…”

She waved away his confusion. “The paranormal beings must never reveal their supernatural status to humans. That’s the only thing I demand of them.” She threw her hands in the air. “Are you sure you’ve made that abundantly clear down there?”

“Yes, Gaia.”

She sighed. “Fine. Try to talk that vampire out of his ridiculous plan.”

“Yes, Ma—I mean, Gaia.”

She narrowed her eyes at him again and he stood stiffly, trying not to do anything to anger the powerful Goddess.

At last she seemed satisfied. “All right. You have your orders. Now get out of my office building.”

With a wave of her hand, Balog found himself in the elevator, moments before the doors opened onto the fake lobby.


  • As a writer:  Do you write throwaway scenes to help define your characters or story?
  • As a reader: Do you enjoy reading editing outtake scenes from your favorite authors?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

AmazonBarnes and NobleIndieBound,Chapters/Indigo
FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON 
BY ASHLYN CHASE – IN STORES APRIL 2013

Never Cry Werewolf…

Brandee has been dumped in every way possible, but by text is the last straw. That's it—she's officially done with men. Unfortunately, she's just been told her "soul mate" is the drool-worthy hottie all her friends call One-Night Nick.

Nick has been searching for true love for one hundred years. After all, werewolves mate for life, and he does not want to mess this up. As soon as he kisses Brandee, he knows she's the one. But how will he convince a woman who knows nothing of paranormals that she's about to be bound to a werewolf forever?

“A wonderful start to a very lighthearted series...” —Night Owl Reviews, 4.5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

A multi-published eBook author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire. The next book in the Flirting with Fangs Series, How to Date a Dragon, will be in stores in September 2013. For more information, please visit Ashlyn's WEBSITE, her Facebook Page and on Twitter 


18 comments:

Ashlyn Chase said...

HI Sia,
Thank you SOOO much for having me today. I won't be able to be here all day, because I'm going to a conference this afternoon, but I'll try to check in when I can.

I hope readers will enjoy the post and leave comments for me to see when I get home!

Jo said...

Love the background for Gaia. Good pun too. I also like the sound of your book. Must look out for it.

Thanks Sia.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Talli Roland said...

I have a feeling I've probably written several throwaway scenes today!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ashlyn, enjoy your conference. I'm glad to have you visiting again. I love the cover on this book and the sense of fun and humor it implies. I'm looking forward to reading it.

NOTE: I can't get into my google account and gmail today--I have NO clue as to why. So who knows whether I will even be able to do much commenting. Grrr.

Jo-I like the acronym too!

Talli-I do have quite a few throwaway scenes. As Ashlyn mentions, it is a great tool for defining characters and backstory.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Ashlyn Chase said...

Something is up with Google. Yesterday's blog hostess had trouble too.

Oh well. C'est la vie.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't think I've ever written a throwaway scene although I've done plenty of scene chopping from my manuscripts.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I usually write out so many details about my characters before I begin writing my story that I already know them well. My third book did have one throwaway scene, but it was by accident. I wrote a scene for the ending, but once I began writing the outline in depth, I knew I couldn't get to that ending. But I did want to retain the essence of what transpired in that scene between father and son.

Anne Gallagher said...

I write throwaways all the time. I have to get it out of my head before I put it in the story.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ashlyn, I'm so sorry. I could not get into my blog account to save my soul. Took me until this evening (Saturday) to do so. Haven't a clue why but it appears all is well again. So we'll see how it goes. :-)

Ashlyn Chase said...

HI Sia, et al,

Back from the conference. I'm glad you guys had some fun reading a scene no one else will see. ;)

Old Kitty said...

I don't ever want to be in Balog's shoes with Goddess Mother Nature, She Who Must Be Obeyed! Yikes! LOL!!

Flirting Under the Full Moon is totally a romantic story with bite! LOL! Yay!! All the best Ashlyn! take care
x

Pat Hatt said...

I write out some thing beforehand, but things usually go another way, so those I just throw away.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've never intentionally written a throwaway scene, but I usually end up with a few. Mostly they get reworked into the final version. I will keep that in mind for my WIP, though. They would be great teasers to share before the book launches. Great to meet you.

Hi, Sia. Hope your Google issues are non-repeating.

DEZMOND said...

somebody should flirt with me next time we have full moon.... I'm fairly easy :)

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thank you, Old Kitty! It sounds as if you've read it...that was a very sweet thing to say. You made my day.

XOXO

Ash

Ashlyn Chase said...

You discovered my ulterior motive, Carol! It can work well for a blog post/teaser.

Ashlyn Chase said...

LOL, DEZMOND!

Jay Noel said...

Yes. I wrote a "throw-away" scene before I started writing one of my novels.

However, I did go back to it and use most of it in my manuscript.