by Allison Pang
Like several of my fellow word-whores, I tend to keep everything. Like Linda, I have a separate word doc (I call mine "BookTitle - Scraps," but it amounts to the same thing. Everything I cut goes into it - sometimes just to be saved and never used again - but sometimes it's just above moving a scene or a snippet of dialogue. Revision is good for this - it's a bit like fitting puzzle pieces together. Sometimes a scene *looks* right where it is, but then you pull it out and find out it works so much better somewhere else. (And it's way more helpful to be able to just copy/paste and change a few details than it is to rewrite two pages from scratch.)
Each time I start a new round of revisions, I start a new scraps doc. But I still save everything, even if I don't end up using it. (Always fun to look back at some of that older material from years ago and be like...wow. What was I thinking??)
Which sorta leads me to the other part of this post. I *had* been going to throw up a cut scene or two - in particular I thought it might be fun to revisit the beginning of A Sliver of Shadow. (In earlier incarnations of the books, Brystion stayed with Abby at the end of BoD...and the first half of SoS was very different.) I've often thought of reusing some of those scenes for future Abby stories.
Only, there aren't going to be any.
As I discovered late yesterday afternoon, my publisher chose not to take me up on my option book. Which wasn't particularly unexpected, to be honest. But I'm sorta looking at all these little snippets and scenes and wondering what I'm going to do with them now.
And yes, I'm considering self-publishing something - perhaps some short stories to fill in the gaps, if nothing else. So I'm going to keep those scenes close to my vest for now, and I guess we'll see if that "Phin's Very Special XXX-Mas" story really does happen. ;-)