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Friday, December 23, 2011

JANE DOE - Deleted Scene 2

Some days you have to kill your darlings.

Every draft is an evolution of sorts. The characters mature from rough caricatures of people into three dimensional individuals with their own thoughts and needs. Every time I fine tune a scene I find little pieces of the original draft that no longer fit, like dust leftover from the remodel it needs to be cleared away. Sometimes it's easy, and sometimes I agonize long and hard over cutting a scene.

In JANE DOE there have been some false starts as I've tried to work out the relationship between the two main character: MacKenzie and Samantha. The first deleted scene that I still miss is this here. I loved that scene! It was so MAC in so many ways. He's just a little socially awkward and repulsive, or he was, during the early drafts.

Mac has grown up. He has issues, those haven't vanished, but instead of a relationship (and rehab) that moves in fits and starts his addiction and recovery have come to span the entire book. This "morning after" scene no longer fits. Not that there was much to remember from the night before, but here Mac honestly doesn't remember how he spent the night....

Yawning, he shuffled to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and froze. The room smelled like woman, floral, flirty, and promising. Mac turned on the shower and stepped into the freezing shower of water to clear his head. There was a purple bottle next to his soap.

He couldn't imagine what had possessed him to buy a bottle of shower gel. He checked the label: Midnight Promise. The ad on the back promised the smell of summer gardens at midnight with a hint of wonder and seduction.

"They got the wonder part right." He washed quickly, watching the bottle in case it did something unwarranted, like produce a genie. You never knew with girl stuff.
The door creaked open.

Mac opened the shower stall slowly. "Hello?"

A huge head poked through the door at hip level. Add two more heads and the monster grinning at him could have guarded Hades. Hoss walked in, stuck his snout in the shower, and jumped back with yelp, flopping water and drool all over the bathroom, and on Mac's semi-clean towel.

"This yours?" Mac nodded to the purple bottle.

The dog just smiled.

Probably not then. He abandoned the towel and headed back to his room, dripping water. His phone buzzed again: three car wreck, eleven bodies to examine, the coroner wanted him in an hour ago. "Yes, got the wakeup call." He tossed the phone on his bed.

On his way out Mac got sight of a slight body curled in the fetal position on his couch. Rose. His hands shook as he pulled on his rain jacket. A lifetime ago he would have had the right words, known how to help. Call in sick to work, pull her into his arms, fight her battles for her. Slay a dragon. Save the day.

Photo courtesy of and copyright to Martin Haburaj. You can find his work, including the photo of Lucy HERE. She is almost exactly what I picture Sam as, although she's a little tall.

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