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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Few Too Many People

Yesterday I cut a 6 page scene from the Work In Progress (WIP). It hurt to do it, but the feedback was right on the money.

This scene was in the Point of View (POV) of a character who wouldn't appear again until the third (and final) book of the series and I doubt he'd have another POV scene. The comment I received was that I was verging on the cast of thousands and that I'm giving this character a lot of importance by giving him a scene like this.

The first comment was dead-on. I'd been worrying about that myself, but ignored that little voice in my head. So far in not that many pages, I'd introduced my heroine and a friend of hers. I'd introduced the hero, one of his friends, some of his coworkers, and the hero from the third book. The coworkers were more of a hey, hi kind of thing, so they weren't too overwhelming, I hope. But using this very minor character's POV tipped it over the edge.

The second comment about it making him seem like a major character is also accurate. I've done POV from minor characters before, but they've always been reoccurring throughout the book, as in if you had Seth's POV once, you got it four, five, six more times. I also dropped the first of those scenes deeper into the story, after the major characters are established. Not so in this case. This would have been very early in the book and it gave the character importance that he doesn't hold. He's a catalyst for book 3, but doesn't need a scene in his head for this role.

I also had another problem that my friend didn't mention--I felt like some of the information given in the scene was repetitive. The cut pages were necessary before I added the prologue that set up the world, but after I revamped where the book opened, it became superfluous.

So there were very valid and sound reasons for cutting and I couldn't come up with a single strong reason to keep the scene. Aside from the fact that I didn't want to lose 6 pages off my total. :-) Yes, a very weak reason. I cut the scene and the pages. It hurt. I'll recoup them, though--as soon as I figure out what happens next.