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What did you edit out of Warden’s Reign? Scenes? Characters?

From the very first draft to the published book, quite a bit has been edited out. Some characters include Bowen, Florence, and a character I removed from Book 1 and inserted into Book 2 who I will refrain from naming until Children of the Volcano releases. The first chapter alone has been through so many rewrites, I’ve since lost count. Over a dozen at the very least.


Cut Solpate Forest Scenes:

Florence was a young refugee girl close to Kole’s age that I had him interact with. The goal was to show Kole’s innocence and naivety, but it ended up slowing the pace, so I cut her out entirely. Maybe I’ll save the name for later.


There were several short scenes I played with to open the book. Maybe five or six completely different ‘first chapters’ showing Kole during his shepherd’s training. He helped root a rambler with Russế in one, he chased a rambler away from the camp boundaries in another, and the last one I remember was one where he assisted in carving out a rambler to serve as a new home for the children of his camp. I knew I wanted to show Kole in action as a shepherd, but I couldn’t decide which was best. All of these, I set to the side in favor of the current opening scene with Niko.


Cut Socren Scenes:

Bowen is mentioned in passing in Chapter 12 of Warden’s Reign. He supplies the Liberation with the fertilizer to make the explosives used in the rebellion. I initially had a scene in the first few drafts where Kole went along with the group to retrieve the supplies in the farmlands. The purpose of this scene was to give the reader a glance at the horrendous living situation/atmosphere beyond the walls of Socren. I ended up cutting it in favor of the scene with Anna.


At one point while Kole explored the city with Felix, they passed by the old, burned down site of Etta’s orphanage where Kole had supposedly lived with the other refugee children before being smuggled to Solpate. I wanted Kole to get more closure from the catastrophe with the Black Wall, but in the end, there just wasn’t enough character development in that scene. I ended up creating what I wanted for Kole with his one-on-one scene with Piper over the escape records.

Mostly things were cut because I figured out a better way to say what needed to be said in a more concise way. Others were fillers, like Florence, that just didn’t DO anything to move the story forward. I felt no particular attachment to any of these scenes, making them simple to cut and move on.

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