Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Outtakes

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I know, whenever I look at a DVD or Bluray movie I always look to see if they have scenes that weren't in the movie. I love watching extra scenes. Novels aren't any different. I know as a writer, that there are just some scenes or characters that, even though I might absolutely love, I have to get rid of for some reason.

Here's a snippet from my novel, Shadow Embraced, that I had to get rid of because I rewrote the earlier scenes to involve a lovely chase through the woods. To sum up this scene, my MC, Scar just got busted for fighting and to teach her a lesson she is dumped in the middle of the forest by Rome the student president (who's also a werewolf) for some bizarre detention...

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I find my hands tied, a blindfold covering my eyes, lying on the wet ground. Rain buckets down. No one says a word. I don't even know if anyone's still here. They probably ditched me out here.
Someone pins me down, my uniform sticks to my skin. “Count to five,” Rome whispers in my ear. His voice coming out in a low growl. If I weren't shivering already, I would have thought he's the cause. Slowly, I feel my hands get untied. “Then, find your way home.”
I hear him walk away. I start counting. “One... two... three...” I don't want to be here anymore. “Four... five...”
My hands tremble. I grip the blindfold and rip it from my eyes. The falling rain blurs my vision. I squint to focus, trying to figure out where the hell I am. Trees surround me. I can see the faint glow of lights coming from a distance. That must be the school. Isn't this a fun night? Left in the middle of nowhere. They will be sorry when they return and find my frozen body buried in the mud come morning.
A twig snaps behind me. A low inhuman growl wafts across the field. There's something else out here. The mud squelches as it approaches. They left me, and now there's something out here. I hate my life.
Forcing myself to my feet, I run in the direction that makes the most sense, away from that thing. There's only one thought in my head, and that's to get the hell out of here. The creature's roar echoes around me.
I turn my head and make my first mistake. My feet catch on a twisted tree root and send me crashing to the muddy earth.
I strain my eyes trying to see whatever's out here stalking me. The rain obscures my vision, but that doesn't stop me from seeing the monstrosity. Powerful raptor claws pry deep scars in the earth beneath it. Its steel-tight muscles quiver beneath the flesh, gently bristling its sleek coat of long echidna-like quills in slow, smooth waves. Large glaring eyes blaze a yellow so bright that even my night vision can’t mask it. A small jewelled locket dangles loosely around its neck like a dog tag. Its long reptilian beak parts in a horrific dragon grin. Leisurely, the creature licks its lips.
It takes half a second for the terror to hit. I bolt.
Its warm breath brushes the back of my neck. I run faster, trying not to slip in the mud. No matter how quick I move, it's right there behind me, toying with me. This is how the poor girl in all those horror movies must feel.
Every muscle aches. The icy air rushes painfully into my lungs. What's the worst that can happen if I just stop and play dead right here? The creature utters another bowel-shaking roar. I take that back, it would be very, very bad. I don't want to die out here.
I glance down at a puddle of water. It ripples as if trembling from fear as well, distorting my own reflection.
'Fight,' the reflection speaks.
I must be exhausted, that or I've totally lost my mind.
'Fight,' it repeats.
Something shifts inside of me, forcing its way to the surface. Suddenly I can see everything clearly, magnified. My eyes move quickly, tracking every drop of rain as if some machine is calculating and adjusting accordingly. A vast reservoir of power surges into me, flowing from my core. My muscles pump harder, driving me forward. Automatically my body manoeuvres to avoid obstacles, so quickly that trees seem to jump out of my way. Light blooms in the distance. The school's straight ahead.
I sense the creature moving through the woods behind me. Without intending to, I find myself running up a tree trunk. Grabbing the branches, I swing myself higher. I have no idea what I'm doing. With one sharp movement, I feel the tree disappear from beneath me and I fly out into the open air. Trying to figure out why I'm even doing this, I realise something. I'm not. At some point I went from driver to captive passenger within my own body.
'Fight,' my inner voice mocks. The new driver.
I land with a heavy thud, right on top of the misshapen creature, and slam him to the ground. My whole flying squirrel act took less than a second, but I've won.
Something hits me from behind with the force of a wrecking ball. Sliding a bit, I land face down in the mud. Without warning, I'm back in control. 
“Now, that was fun.” Rome stands over me. “A stupid move that could have gotten you killed if the threat was real, but impressive nonetheless.”
“What the hell?” I scream. 
“Let that be a reminder.” He turns to leave. “Don't get caught fighting again.”
He walks away, leaving me lying in the mud. After he disappears from my sight I manage to muster enough energy to get up and limp back to the dorm. If every day is going to be like this one, I may have to consider escaping after all. At least the rain has stopped.

---

Well, I hope you enjoyed the little snippet from Shadow Embraced. I think this outtake was for the best since the threat is more powerful when she actually comes face to face with a werewolf.

So, do you like reading/watching outtakes? Have you ever written a scene or a character that you've had to get rid of? 

6 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oooh, good snippet!

I do enjoy watching the outtakes at the end of movies I've watched too!

NiaRaie said...

OOo, nice outtake. I really liked the sense of setting.

Kate Larkindale said...

I remember that part!

My hard drive is filled with little bits and pieces I cut out. All kinds of things labelled 'old CTTL C5 fb' and stuff. I never like to throw them away because you never know when they might come in handy.... I have nightmares about an editor saying to me, 'you know, what we need here is...' and then me going, 'oh! I had that scene in my original draft' and not having it anymore.

Dawn Embers said...

Very interesting. Cut scenes are tough but sometimes it needs to be done. Kill the darlings, so to speak. Thanks for sharing the cut excerpt with us.

Chris Phillips said...

I like deleted scenes, but in some movies you can really tell why they got cut.

ali said...

Whoa! That was awesome!!

*love it!*

I rewrote an entire book :) Left, oh, about 70K words in a file I may not ever use. It hurts, but hey, we kill our darlings, right? It's what we do!

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