The Useless Bits


The writing process for me is… interesting.  It’s a lot like telling myself a story.  I don’t skip around and write different chapters in different parts of the book.  However, I do get distracted from time to time.

For this reason, I keep “scratch pages.”  These are at the end of every book and contain useless bits of information that might find its way into the story.  Sometimes it’s trivia, sometimes it’s occurrences, sometimes it’s just great one-liners that I thought up but can’t figure out how to use…

Battered Dreams had sixteen pages in the “scratch pages” section.  For example, as I was getting ready to write chapter four, I learned that a UFO had been seen in San Antonio & Austin a few days before.  That little tidbit got tucked away on the scratch pages, because the book was set between San Antonio & Austin and I found a way to work it into the story.  At the end, I only used stuff from four pages.  Something that got left out was a conversation between Lucas and Aislinn about the probability of her getting a bacterial infection from a can of soda that has been sitting on a table in the conference room for two hours (she’s convinced she’ll pick up leprosy, Lucas is convinced she’s nuts).

I’m about halfway done with Belladonna Dreams and my scratch pages are plentiful.  At this point, I have only used two pages from the scratch stuff (one came from a weird conversation with my mother about oatmeal).  I never transfer these pages from book to book and I do nothing with them.

Eventually, they get sucked into the writing ether.  It’s another part of the process.  Once in a while, I think about those left out bits and wonder if they are truly useless or if they could be used somewhere else.

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