I’ve been retyping some of the outtakes from A Spark of Heavenly Fire. These are the scenes I deleted from the book (and apparently also deleted from my computer, hence the retyping). Since the story takes place in December, and this is December (as if you didn’t know) I thought I would celebrate by posting those scenes on my blog.
I expected to be embarrassed by my puerile writing, but some of the deleted work was surprisingly good. The scenes were nicely set up, fairly well written, and advanced the plot, but unfortunately they did not serve the overall story.
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn while writing is that everything in a novel is in service to the story. Nothing stands alone -- not the writing, not the characters, not the plot, not the individual scenes. Perhaps what I’m talking about is balance and flow. If a good scene stops the flow, it’s not a good scene. If a minor character is so weighty that he overbalances the hero, his scenes need to be restricted. A couple of the scenes worked quite well to show the onset of martial law in quarantined Denver, but they were from the standpoint of Jeremy King, the hero of the secondary story. Kate was supposed to be the driving force of the book, and she barely showed up in the first fifty pages. So poor Jeremy had to go.
If you’d like to see my outtakes, you can find them here:
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #1
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #2
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #3
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #4
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #5
A Spark of Heavenly Fire Outtake #6
Pat Bertram is also the author of More Deaths Than One and Daughter Am I.