Wednesday, 2 March 2022

#IWSG March - #amwriting - What goes? What stays? What's a non starter when writing a story or adding a scene to a story?

 Welcome to the March 2022 IWSG.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

 Like me, you're probably wondering where those first two months disappeared to. I've spent most of the time in my writing chair. How about you?

So my state has been/still is, being inundated with floods. Had 80% of our annual rainfall in a few days, causing devastation to a large swathe of South-East Queensland. Luckily I live on a hill and was never in any danger, but my heart goes out to those who have lost everything.

A lot going on in the world with disasters hitting many countries. Now we have war in Ukraine. Shocking to think of the suffering that war brings. Let's hope for a speedy solution with a minimum of bloodshed. I have a writer friend who has lost the will to write because of this turmoil, while others feel even more determined to write. Our winning WEP entry in February is about war - not in Ukraine - but a past war. It struck a chord with all at WEP and our judge Nick Wilford gave it the winner's gong. Congratulations to Sally Stackhouse who always writes pieces that speak to our emotions. Click HERE to read her heartfelt story.

Now there is a March 2 question - Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

Let's just say that like a film editor, my floor is littered with discarded story ideas and scenes that either didn't work or I felt were too controversial. I've seen some authors include discarded chapters and scenes at the end of a story or offer it for free as a reader magnet for their newsletter. I'm thinking that's a good idea. I love some of the chapters/scenes I've cut and that would be a good way to put them to good use. 

For example, this is my original opening scene to Betrayed, the first in my vampire series which is undergoing a full re-write, new cover, new blurb:



Florence, capital of Tuscany, 1610.




t was easy to lose your head under the rule of Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici in the year of our Lord 1610. Whether noble, craftsman, brigand or mercenary, an accusation of treason could result in decapitation. Well aware, Duke Vipunin de Castellina knew he must tread carefully to ensure his head remained firmly upon his shoulders.

He had much to look forward to, but it depended on the success of his journey tomorrow – finally taking up his inheritance at Castello de Castellina in Chianti and announcing his betrothal to Lady Ciassia de Fioravanti, daughter of the Marquis Fioravanti of Florence. He’d loved her these many years, and she loved him in return. His military duties to the de’ Medici had prevented their nuptials, but now the time approached when they could wed. It would be the most joyful thing when they became man and wife. They would live together in his castle, raise children, guarantee the Castellina line.

But the imminent beheading of one of his noble friends was foremost in his mind when at twilight a messenger hammered loudly at his palazzo gate in via del Canneto by the River Arno. The rider handed him a document sealed with the ubiquitous red crest, still warm, summoning him to an audience at Palazzo Medici. A quiver of trepidation passed through him, along with vexation at yet another last-minute command from his brother in all but blood. Each time he planned his return to Castellina, Cosimo found a reason for him to delay. Why had his friend interrupted his preparations for his journey yet again? Had he found yet another reason to forbid Vipunin to leave Florence? 

Directly following a PREQUEL about Premonitions which play a large part in this story, this is a snippet of my new opening chapter:



Florence, capital of Tuscany, 1610.



n the pre-dawn darkness, Duke Vipunin de Castellina hurried down the stone steps of his villa in via del Canneto by the River Arno. With each footfall, his head pounded in time to the beat of his heart. He rubbed his temples, relived the visions he’d seen throughout the night – shrieking vampires attacking with swords as he and his men battled their way through the Tuscan Forest.

Blood. Decapitated heads.

But whose blood? Whose heads? 


If you took the time to read both, which do you prefer? I think it's a no brainer, but I could be wrong.


Very soon, the winners will be announced for the February challenge, All You Need Is Love. Just a head's up, the WEP team aren't eligible for prizes. Not to take away anything from the winners, but just check out the wondrous post from team member, L.G. Keltner. So psst, here I'll tell you. We have Sally Stackhouse as the outright winner, and here is second and third.

Already we at WEP have our brains full of ideas for the April challenge of the Year of Music. We'll also collaborate on an entry for the A - Z challenge - D for Doors.

Thanks for stopping by. I know what it's like to be super busy, so I appreciate it more than I can say. Until next time .. Peace and Love ... Denise


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The second one is perfect! Grips faster.
Sorry to hear the floods were so bad. Doe that usually happen every fall?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise - I'll be over to congratulate the WEP winners ...

Glad you're safe - but it's a LOT of rain - my heart goes out to so many at the moment.

I too prefer the second instalment - sharp and enticing.

All the best - Hilary

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you live on a hill. I definitely like your rewrite better. It totally drew me into your story.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The second one got right to the tension.

I'm sorry, Ukraine has so dominated our news I hadn't heard about your flooding.

Jemi Fraser said...

Those floods are horrific! I'm glad you live on a hill. Stay safe.

A Hundred Quills said...

I loved Sally's take too. Just visited all the winners.
Good to know you are safe Denise. Floods can be devastating. They always are in India.
I enjoyed both your pieces, the second one is certainly one up.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

I've never added a cut section as a bonus, but I have re-used old scenes/materials in new work. Usually if it's something really cool or funny that just didn't work in its original home.

Nick Wilford said...

Yes, I can see how the new take is much better - it puts us straight into the action rather than backstory. I want to read on!

The war is maddening. We have enough natural disasters causing devastation without adding manmade ones into the mix - although we are probably also exacerbating those natural events via climate change. I hope it can be defused quickly.

Helen said...

The first was good, but the second was visceral. Nice way to illustrate your point. :)

Janet Alcorn said...

I really like the second version--it's tight and pulls me into the story immediately.

So glad you're safe from the floods.

cleemckenzie said...

The world is most certainly in chaos, and as far as I can tell, there's little change for the better in sight. And I'm not a pessimist by nature. Congratulations to Sally Stackhouse on her WEP win!

Olga Godim said...

Floods are scary. We had floods last fall in BC which wiped out all the roads east, to the rest of Canada. To the point where food delivery was disrupted for the entire province. I think they are still fixing some of those roads. I'm glad you're OK.
The new scene is definitely better. Excellent re-write!

Liza said...

So glad you are safe. My sister is in Victoria. We spent a lot of time Facetiming about the floods and the war. Wishing you the best.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Liza. I'm sure your sister was encouraged by talking to you. War and floods. Urk.

Denise Covey said...

Yes Olga, floods are scary, but in Australia we are old enemies. Happens most years in summer. Makes a mess of roads and bridges.
Thanks for voting on my story.

Denise Covey said...

I agree. I don't see things changing for the better.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Janet for your vote and your concern.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for your vote, Helen.

eleanejacci said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Denise Covey said...

It's actually just out of summer here, Alex, which is when we get floods.
Thanks for the vote.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Hilary. Thanks for the vote.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for the vote Natalie.

Denise Covey said...

Yes, our news is only about our flooding and Ukraine.
Thanks for voting.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Jemi.

Denise Covey said...

Thank you Sonia. And thanks for the vote.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Yeah, it's hard to know what has to be cut because it doesn't fit your "brand" or fit the story or whatever.
And hard times like these can fuel or fizzle a creative mind.
Hope you're having a great day! My latest blog post has my theme for the April #AtoZChallenge (I'm writing speculative fiction and looking for prompts).
At Operation Awesome we have the #PassOrPages query contest going on (friends or enemies to lovers Romance).
Looks like I'll be very busy the next few weeks!
March quote: "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do." - Mark Twain

Denise Covey said...

I think it's a great idea. I try not to waste too much.

Denise Covey said...

JLenni, you sound busy too. Love the quote at the end.

Kalpana said...

I'm glad you're up on a hill and safe from floods. My heart goes out to those affected by the floods and the war. I like the idea of offering the axed versions as a bonus chapter.
The second one is better. Lots of drama there.
Happy IWSG day.

Diane Burton said...

So sorry to hear about the floods. Glad you're safe. Regarding the 2 first chapters: definitely the 2nd. It grabs the reader immediately and thrusts us into the action.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for your vote, Diane.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for voting, Kalpana.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for your vote Nick. Yes we certainly don't need a war to add to the natural disasters we're experiencing.

H.R. Sinclair said...

The second. ;)

I'm glad you're safe, but so sorry about the devastation around you.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Holly!

J Lenni Dorner said...

Yup, staying crazy busy. Doing vacation in May.

I'm doing the #AtoZChallenge - writing a speculative fiction short story.
On the main A to Z site today for "B" I shared a list of books. Check it out!
At Operation Awesome we're doing the A to Z Challenge and running a survey to pick the next Pass or Pages query contest genre.

Hdpcgames said...

love this