Because of your amazing support and enthusiasm, Edenbrooke made it to the semi-final round of the Goodreads Choice award. (Yay! Streamers! Confetti!) Last week I offered you a carrot to entice you to spread the word about the voting. And the carrot I dangled was a deleted scene from Edenbrooke. And so, as promised, I will deliver the deleted scene. But first let me explain a couple things.
The scene I'm going to share with you I call The Orchard Scene. It was one of the first scenes I wrote between Marianne and Philip, way back in 2007. It became a pivotal scene--meaning, everything else in the story hinged on this scene. And I was as attached to this scene as a writer can get--mostly because it was the first thing I wrote. Not because it was all that great of a scene.
But I knew, even as a rookie writer, that there was something wrong with it. I rewrote it at least a hundred times. (And that is no exaggeration.) I rewrote the scenes following it hundreds of times. I spent an entire year moving the plot around to work around The Orchard Scene. I took a year off from the story because I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. And finally (FINALLY) I took Stephen King's advice to kill my darling, and I deleted that scene. I had to delete lots of subsequent scenes that hinged on that one. But I kept different elements from it and the scenes following and used them in scenes that are currently in Edenbrooke. And finally, after I killed it and dealt with the ramifications, I understood why it couldn't work.
The reason I had to kill The Orchard Scene was because it was fundamentally wrong for my characters (Philip in particular) to act that way. And my characters were so stubborn. They simply would not let me force them into something they didn't want to do. So I am very happy that I finally killed the scene. But I am also happy that I still get an excuse to share it.
One more note: When I dug into my files and pulled up my deleted scenes, I was kind of appalled at how bad my writing was back then. So I threw away those old files and just wrote the scene new. Same scene, new style of writing. But not a lot of polishing. So take it for what it's worth. :)
Now, after all of that prelude, you can go here to read The Orchard Scene.