Monday, 10 May 2010

Deleted Scene Blog Fest

Another blog fest! Make sure you check out the other entries too, and especially the host, Mia @ My Literary Jam and Toast.

The following was cut out of my novel DEAD IN THE CORNER OF MY BEDROOM because it was just a lot of backstory and a whole lot of telling without any real purpose to my plot. I've actually adapted this scene for my memoir because it was something that actually happened. So, for 'learning purposes', tomorrow I'll post the adapted scene, so you can see how 'showing' can bring something like this to life.

Due to ridiculous advice from her doctor my mum refused to sleep on any soft mattresses – her back had to be straight and supported at all times. This made it very difficult to find a place to stay. We always stayed in bug-ridden pensions because we couldn’t afford proper hotels, so you can imagine the snarls we received when my mum went into every single room inspecting the beds as though she were about to book a room in a five star hotel.

It was probably the fifth pension we had checked out that afternoon. My mum explained her problem using a French phrase book and managed to get her point across to the little old man sitting behind the tiny reception desk – he seemed very kind and sweet. He took us up a very narrow flight of stairs. The wallpaper was of tree branches covered in pink and yellow blossom and there were brown wrinkles of paper curling off the walls – though it didn’t look too bad because in places you could mistake the peeling paper for brown twigs. It smelt rather moldy too, but I felt comfortable despite the fact. I was really hoping we’d find a hard bed – my feet were throbbing from schlepping round the streets and the traipsing up and down staircases, not to mention my tired shoulders from carrying my backpack. To be honest, I was just happy to get away from the smell of poodle poop and perfume – it really accentuated the smell of my mum’s jeans.

He showed us one room – my mum felt the mattress – it wasn’t hard enough. He showed us a second room – my mum felt the mattress – it wasn’t hard enough. He showed us a third room – my mum felt the mattress – it wasn’t hard enough. He showed us a fourth room – my mum felt the mattress – it was hard enough. He told us the price of the fourth room and it was too expensive. He half opened a door which seemed to lead into a kitchen, poked his head in and yelled out something I didn’t understand. Seconds later a fat greasy middle-aged woman with a protruding chin and a bloody apron chased us down the stairs and out into the street with a carving knife. The type of woman you’d read about in Brother’s Grimm books. I started crying, my mum started hyperventilating and James, always looking at the bright side of life said to me, ‘Don’t worry, Jane. Justht think of the sthtories you’ll be able to tell your kidsth!’


  1. Wow. I think I would run the gamut of emotions if this had happened to me. You found a place to stay though, right?

  2. Yeah, it might be telling. But I love good telling with great voice. I would have kept reading.

  3. I can imagine how frustrating that must be.Nevertheless, this story does sound interesting. I see you're reading Gemmell's Cleave, I've wanted to get my hands on it. I'm trying to catch up with good Aussie fiction, and am exciting about your upcoming project! Anyway I checked out your site and loved your poem, particularly:

    "But if life were like driving on a country road,
    Then everything would be all right.
    No more never-ending labyrinths of dead ends.
    No more journeys through absent-mindedness"


  4. I really like this, although I could see how it could disrupt the flow of a story. But even as a stand alone scene, it's very well written! I'd have kept reading. :D

  5. MissV: Oh yeah! Eventually :)

    Laura: Thanks! That's really flattering!

    Culture: (what's your real name?) Yes, I've just read the first few pages as I just picked it up yesterday. Thanks so much for checking out my web site too! Not many people actually do! Thanks so so much for your flattery. :)

  6. Bethany: Thanks! Tomorrow I'm posting the exact same scene fleshed out :)

  7. Do you know I do envy people who can write such interesting stories and certainly those who write novels.Don't get me wrong I love writing poetry and enjoy sharing what I write but I have had a good life which went a bit pear shaped in the middle but am on track again,and could write many an amusing or sad story but just haven't got the know how.
    Seem I am not good with words.

    Have a good day.

  8. I enjoyed this and now I need to see what you've done with it tomorrow. I'll be back :)

  9. Cool tale hee, hee (altho not at the time I have to concede). Maybe she was just gonna cut you a sandwich? No?!

    Milt x

  10. Interesting piece Jessica, I'm looking forward to seeing how you changed it.

  11. Yay! Thank you for taking part!! I really like this so it'll be interesting to see how you change it because I really liked the voice here :~)

    p.s. The mention at the top was so so sweet *hugs* everyone's making me smile today

  12. I like this scene. It shows a lot, I think, as far as the tediousness and hopelessness of just finding a place to sleep at night. It's well-written and I found myself hoping the bed in the last place would be THE ONE. It was almost like Goldilocks. ;-) The twist at the end, where the bed is okay, but now the price is too high, is so accurate. How often does that happen in real life? Always! lol.

  13. Yvonne: why don't you tell your stories through poetry and put together a compilation? I think it would be brilliant! And you are brilliant with words. You always hit a tender spot when I read your poetry!

    Jaydee: Thanks!

    Milton: LOLOLOL

    Matthew: Thanks!

    Mia: Thank you :) And no problem! I'm gald I made you smile!!!

    MAry: LOL Goldilocks! So true! What an awesome comparison!

  14. I side with the woman with the knife. Kinda wished she caught them. At least took a swipe and tore the backside of their clothing. Finicky people who complain too much are perfect characters to be sliced and diced.

    Stephen Tremp

  15. Stephen: Oi! That's my mother you're talking about there! LOL

    Beth: Thanks :)

  16. Wow, I can't believe that this is autobiographical. You must have had a quite a life. Great description and the James character drew me in with just a line! good stuff!

  17. At least you got a story out of it, but holy guacomole I don't think I could have handled that.

    I'll be interested to see the other version :)

  18. I'm glad you are saving this for another project, but I enjoyed it - great sensory details! - and it also reminded me of traisping after my mother through many cheap hotels and pensions in Europe. (We actually fared better in hostels. Talk about hard mattresses!)

    I'll be back soon in curiousity to read the adapted version

  19. I'm glad you are saving this for another project, but I enjoyed it - great sensory details! - and it also reminded me of traisping after my mother through many cheap hotels and pensions in Europe. (We actually fared better in hostels. Talk about hard mattresses!)

    I'll be back soon in curiousity to read the adapted version

  20. I really liked this scene, but can understand why you cut it for editing purposes. Sometimes you just gotta trim the fat even if it's fat you love. ;)

    Thanks for sharing!!

  21. I quite liked this piece. It kept me reading. I look forward to reading the changes you did. I hate to say it, but the image of the carving knife had me smiling ( sorry! I'm sure it was a scarey moment for you).

  22. Ooh! Interesting scene! I'll have to come back tomorrow to see the tweaked version. :)

    And I love the last line! It's perfect.

  23. I really enjoyed that one, Jessica! Sorry to hear that's based on an actual memory. You certainly had an interesting childhood!

  24. I enjoyed this. Looking forward to the fleshed out version tomorrow. :)

  25. I liked the tone of your scene...the tired, losing patience feel of a traveler that just wants to put their stuff down and rest.

    That turning into the screaming bloody scene made me jump and that was awesome. Great surpise!

  26. May be telling, however the emotional content to draw a reader into the scene is there. Can't wait to see what you did to change this up. (Hugs)Indigo

  27. Is there anything you CAN'T write?

  28. I can't wait to read your novel. You always keep me engaged.

  29. It's still interesting and well written, but I can see why you might have deleted it as backstory. But good for your own purposes and cool for us to see!

  30. Okay...stop. Yout still have the stuff you deleted? When I delete, its generally a permanant type thing. And now I'm thinking that's a bad thing. Yikes!

    I still like this piece btw. I'm sure the post tomorrow will be even better though!


  31. This was really well written; I especially love the description of the wallpaper.

    Now, seriously, this really happened to you? I'm dying to know what the old man yelled to incite the chase!

  32. I really felt that scene. My feet were practically hurting reading about walking up and down stairs with a backpack on.

    Funny lisping at the end there. Hey, don't you think it's rather funny that they named the lisp without regard to the fact that people with a lisp can't properly pronounce the word?

  33. It might have been telling, but it was good telling and very interesting. Looking forward to the showing. :)

  34. You're writing a memoir? That's my favorite genre. I enjoyed this segment immensely. I want to read more!

  35. Katie: LOL, hmm .. I guess I have. Sometimes I don't realise it!

    Rebecca: Well, I can't really remember the pain of it all. I just think it's funny now!

    Margo: Thanks. Hard matresses in hostels, hey? LOL if only my mother had have known ...

    B: Yep, gotta kill the darlings!

    Lynn: Don't worry, I smiled at that too when I wrote it! ;)

    Emily: Thanks!

    Beth: LOL, don't say sorry! I love having these memories :)

    Lindsay: Thanks.

    Raquel: Thanks. I actually thought it sounded flat. I guess I'm getting to used to my own voice.

    Indigo: Thanks :)

    Candy: LOL ummm ... medical journals?

    Shannon: You're welcome to read it any time!

    Talli: Thanks!

    Justine: you what? NOOOOOO! Keep them all in a separate file! You never know when you'll be able to do something with them!

    Holly: Thanks. Can you speak French? You'll see what he yelled today in the 'showing version' :)

    Majorie: Oh yeah, that is funny isn't it! HA!

    Ann: Thanks very much! :)

    Karen: Yep! REally? Maybe I can get some pointers off ya?

  36. Wow. There is quite the sea of comments for this post. But I'll add a comment anyways cause you're awesome.

    It was an interesting scene to say the least. The main character caught my attention well enough though I got a little confused at the end. How old is the character? And if she's young enough to start crying at someone... why does she use the word schlep? lol Just some things that caught my attention. Still a decent deleted scene.

  37. Interesting piece Jessica, I'm looking forward to seeing how you changed it
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