Part of the revising process involves cutting material. I know a writer should be ruthless in culling sentences and paragraphs that don't add to the story, further the action, or define a character. But 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 Pelican agreed to publish. At one point my book was almost 57,000 words long. But when the book was finally published, I had whittled the number down to a just over 44,000.
What follows are cuts from my early drafts of the book. I'm fond of of these pieces. When I began writing, I let my mind wander across childhood landscapes that I hadn't explored in a long time. I remembered the Harris Boyer bakery, Ted's Variety Shop, Laffey's Tavern, and Bheam School. I recalled teachers and friends. I wrote almost every place and character I remembered into the initial drafts of my book, only to cut them when readers told me (rightly so) that I had "too much description" in my chapters and that all my exposition was bogging down the story. Luckily, I have the ol' internet to publish my snippets. Otherwise, they would never be seen.
Click on the file to open the PDF. Feel free to download the file if you like. Each piece is introduced by a brief authors note. Also, below the files you'll find an early draft of the book's map. It 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?