Part of the revising process involves cutting material. Sometimes it's material that a writer is very attached to. I know writers should be ruthless in culling sentences, paragraphs, or pages that don't add to the story, further the action, or define a character. But knowing this that doesn't make snipping scenes any easier.
I wrote nine drafts of The West End Tree House Mystery before I arrived at the draft that Pelican agreed to publish. At one point my book was almost 57,000 words long. But when the book was finally published, I had the word count whittled down to just over 44,000.
What follows are cuts from early drafts of the book.They have not been formally edited, nor have they been revised. In some places, the writing is clunky. In cases, there are redundancies and typos. But I'm fond of these pieces and here's why. When I began writing, I let my mind wander across all types of childhood landscapes, ones that I hadn't explored in quite a long time. I remembered the Harris Boyer bakery, Ted's Variety Shop, Laffey's Tavern, and Bheam School. I recalled friends and teachers and characters in the neighborhood. I summoned up little events and adventures, the "small moments" that writers so often write about. And I wrote almost every one of these people, places, and events into the initial drafts of my book. But I had to cut them when readers told me (and rightly so), I had "too much description" in my chapters and that all the exposition was bogging down the story. Luckily, the ol' internet is here and its space for storing snippets of remembered memories is endless. If you're interested, here they are.
To open the PDF simply click on the icon. Each unpublished piece is introduced by a brief author's note. Also, an early draft of the book's map is below the PDFs. The map will help you locate places mentioned in the cuts, like Ted's Variety Shop, Laffey's Tavern (which is labeled Bar), and the Harris-Boyer Bakery. Finally, in this version of the map there are a number of typos. Can you spot them?