Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cutting Room Floor

As I mentioned in last week's post, one of the perks of joining the Earth-based chapter of the Wavemaker Order is going to be unlimited access to the Wavemaker Archives, a members-only page on the Joel Suzuki website that will contain all kinds of cool exclusive content, like deleted scenes.
I store most of my deleted scenes in a document I call "Cutting Room Floor." With the way my writing process works, I don't like to keep stuff I don't want - ranging from single sentences to entire scenes - still sitting in the active draft, but I also don't want to dispose of them entirely either, so what I do is I cut and paste them into a separate document that I keep open alongside my working draft (how people ever wrote books before the advent of word processors, I have no idea.) This way, if I ever want to restore anything I've sliced out, it's all right there, ready and waiting.

There are currently 37,698 words in my Cutting Room Floor, roughly the equivalent of 150 pages' worth of stuff. That doesn't even count the other documents I have - basically complete and semi-complete drafts of the entire books - that contain larger unused passages and chapters. You've heard the expression "kill your darlings," right? Well, I'm pretty sure I (along with most authors that have several novels to their name) have, by now, committed the equivalent of darling-genocide. I've also killed a lot of non-darlings as well. Basically, I have a massive, overflowing graveyard of words. Which means there's a good supply of deleted scenes for all of you to enjoy!

I've already given you one of them in this blog post. And since I'm feeling generous today, I'll give you another one below the jump. If you want more, you'll just have to sign up for the Wavemaker Order!

Here's a scene from an early draft of Volume Two where the celebration that now takes place in chapter 5 was a much smaller affair. Also, Stoneroot was the "Deputy" (whatever that is) of Headsmouth, and Windblade and Auravine were his eleven-year old twin kids. Pretty hilarious. Oh, and it contains a major, major Volume One spoiler, so if you haven't read that book yet, then stop right here and do that first. We'll wait.

Fireflower played a single clear note on her wavebow that sounded like a loud triangle hit. All the conversations stopped and everyone turned to look in her direction. “They are here!” she announced, gesturing in Joel and Felicity’s direction.
After a moment’s hesitation, the gathering erupted into cheers. Someone began to play a festive-sounding tune on a wind instrument. A group of natives moved toward Joel like they were looking for his autograph. Even though he had become accustomed to crowds for the most part, he still had to suppress an urge to turn and run. Let’s see, bands that start with the letter R . . . Radiohead, Rage Against The Machine, R.E.M. . . .
“Give them some room,” Fireflower ordered, holding out her arm in front of the two offworlders like she was some kind of miniature security guard. “You may speak to them later, one at a time, after the formal ceremony is finished.”
“Wait, what’s going on?” Felicity demanded as the crush of natives backed away.
Fireflower turned and flashed a mischievous smile. “I apologize — there is no emergency. I was not sure that you would come back if I told you what was actually happening.”
“Which is . . . what?” Joel asked.
“A long-overdue celebration in your honor,” a voice said from behind. Joel whirled around. A middle-aged male native stood there, clad in an off-white sleeveless vest and dark brown leggings. “Welcome back, legendary heroes. I am glad you could make it.”
Legendary heroes? Joel thought, feeling a strange mixture of pride and discomfort. Us?
“This is Stoneroot,” Fireflower said, introducing the newcomer. “He is the Deputy of Headsmouth. I do not believe you met him the last time you were here.”
Stoneroot made a sort-of-sideways-bowing motion that Joel assumed was a Spectraland gesture of respect. “I am very glad to meet the two of you at last.”
“Um, glad to meet you too,” Joel responded.
“Yeah, okay, whatever,” Felicity said, glancing around distractedly. “So I get it — this is like a surprise party, or something. Good one, Fireflower.”
“Actually, I cannot take the credit,” the native Wavemaker said. “It was Stoneroot’s idea.”
Stoneroot chuckled. “Well, it would not have been possible without your help, Fireflower.”
At that moment, two native children that looked to be around Taylor’s age wiggled their way out of the surrounding crowd. They stopped in front of Joel and Felicity with awed expressions on their faces.
“Is it really them?” one of the children, a boy, said in a hushed voice.
“Of course it is,” the other, a girl, hissed. “Fireflower just said so. Stop being so stupid.”
“Hey, I like you,” Felicity grinned, looking at the girl.
The girl’s jaw dropped. “Oh . . . she just said she likes me!” she said with genuine amazement.
Now who is being stupid?”
“Shut up!”
“Children, behave,” Stoneroot said. Looking back up at Joel and Felicity, he added, “Please forgive them. They are a bit excited to be meeting you. This is my son, Windblade, and my daughter, Auravine.”
“We are honored to be in your presence,” Auravine said in a formal tone, sounding like she had rehearsed that line many times over.
“Can you show me how to use the Sight?” Windblade asked Joel in a much less formal tone. “The stories about how you defeated Chief Byle are so amazing! Especially the one where you threw the Songshell at him and he thought that you were giving up and . . .”
As Windblade continued to go on, Joel noticed that both children had wavebows strapped to their backs. He glanced at Fireflower. “Um — are they Wavemakers?” he asked.
“Yes,” the native shaman nodded. “They are my apprentices. I discovered them shortly after you returned home.”
Windblade kept talking: “. . . you woke up on the beach and there was this big fountain of Aura that was being released from the Songshell since it exploded and was broken so then . . .”
Joel did some calculations in his head. “But . . . they look like they’re ten or eleven years old. Wouldn’t they have already been Wavemakers when we were here?”
“Good observation,” Fireflower said. “But no, they were only three at the time, and we had not identified them sooner, due to the war.”
Joel gave Fireflower a blank look.
“Eight years have passed since you left,” Stoneroot explained.
Joel did a double take. “Wait — what? Eight years?”
“Time moves differently here, as you know.”
“Well, yeah, but . . .”
“Hey, do you guys have some food at this party?” Felicity blurted out, obviously losing patience. “I’m starving.”
            “Now that you are here, we will start the feast,” Stoneroot smiled. “This way, please.”

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