History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Discarded Scenes

While working on my latest short story, I ended up writing a few scenes that ended up not working out in the story. I would start writing, and then realize that either a) there was no good way to put conflict into the scene, or b) the scene was not going to get me to the next step without some serious contortion. But I didn’t just delete the scenes. Instead, I tossed them into a separate file and saved it.

Will I come back and reuse something from those scenes? Probably not. But did I learn something from writing them? Yes. In one of the scenes, I created an off-camera love interest for one of the characters. In another scene, I gave the main character a mentor, and he’s just about to make an appearance in the story. So the scenes have told me a little bit more about two of the characters. This is useful, as I have a main character and a supporting cast of four additional characters that get significant screen time. I actually sort of want to spend a little time writing about one of the other additional characters, as she’s the only one that I don’t feel like I have a good grasp on quite yet.

If you end up with scenes that you can’t use in your stories (or novels), what do you end up doing with them?

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