I once heard somewhere that writers are either “putter-inners” or”taker-outters”. The putter-inners craft a bare-bones first draft and then add on layers of detail as part of the editing process. The taker-outters, on the other side of the quill, throw every possible detail into the manuscript on the first round and then spend the next drafts shaving away the flab to hone the pacing and plot.
I am definitely a taker-outter. I envision the many nights Maya and Gabe spend on the roof chatting, the miles that Maya and Tarren run together in the crisp mornings in Farewell, Colorado without a word, and the endless stretches of time spent in the car between missions. Bits and pieces of this make it into the books, but some of it must eventually be axed in deference to momentum of the plot.
Like most writers, cutting scenes is difficult for me. I find value in the banal moments between action, and I wish I could spend thousands of words giving my characters more room to grow and learn and be silent when they should be talking to each other. Alas, reason prevails, and after I make the cuts I know they are the right thing to do. But for me, those excised scenes never die. They will always be part of the unspoken story. So, if you are interested, allow me to speak them now. Below are bits and pieces of deleted scenes from the series. Thank you for letting me keep these precious moments alive.
Coping came out nearly perfect the first time around and there were no deleted scenes. I still have trouble believing it!
- Maya does laundry
- Gabe’s James Bond story
- Gabe teases Maya at the motel
- The day after Gabe is injured