A few more hidden gems

Written By: Janna - Feb• 22•14

Time to expand the ‘deleted scenes’ portion of my website. With a new writer and a first novel, there’s just so much material to work with. Why let it molder on my hard drive when it can entertain the masses?

The particular piece I’ve added today was cut from chapter twenty-two in A GRIMM LEGACY. One of my early beta readers mentioned adding a scene that would show, rather than tell, more of the small town near the evil step-mother’s house. She also suggested stepping up the action a bit with the other characters while Andi was preoccupied with the Cinderella story.

So I wrote this long scene with some funny bits it, Dylan shopping (which stayed in the final version) and getting chased by palace guards (which didn’t). There was also a small section where Quinn is dress shopping, which you can now find below as well as under the deleted scenes tab.

By some maricle, this particular editor’s comment was saved, and I think its a great one to share because its a common mistake that new writers make.

Soooo… *awkward pause* as much as you know I lovvvee this scene, I’m not sure it works. It doesn’t move the plot forward at all, and reading it the first time, I expected more to come from this character. Like Erica ALWAYS says, every scene/sentence/word has to either move the story forward or teach us something about the characters. This is just a fun little moment that isn’t necessary and can be pretty confusing since readers will be trying to read more into it. Either put a valuable key to the story in here somewhere ooorrr just have Dylan reunite with Quinn as she’s climbing back down the ladder, dress in hand.

It’s pretty simple really. It can’t just be funny, or tie into the old fairy tales (which it did. THE FOUR CLEVER BROTHERS, great story, look it up). Each scene has to have a purpose in the story. If not, the writer ends up floundering in a sea of unconnected sentences that can’t form a coherent thought. I’ve read stories like this, and while they have potential, that’s all they have.

A good editor is invaluable. Really, one aspect of their job is to save us from ourselves.

Quinn slowly pulled herself into the small second-hand shop. It was crammed with curious, dilapidated objects. Enormous down pillows, stuffed crows and a vase full of white feathers littered the shelves. There were wooden batons propped in a corner and a small spinning wheel by the door, which Quinn carefully steered clear of. In the center of the room a large branch of the tree protruded from a hole cut in the wooden plank floor. Adorning it was a selection of jewelry, rings, necklaces, and several crowns. A girl about her age with blue shoulder length hair came from behind the counter with a pleasant smile.

“Looking for something in particular?” she asked. Quinn gawked at her clothes. A too short leather skirt paired with knee high argyle socks, and fingerless gloves up to her elbows. She grinned at Quinn as if she were pleased at her shock value. Quinn smiled back at her.

“That dress. Is it for sale?” she asked, nodding to the display window.

The girl lifted the dress from where it lay draped over a small arm chair.

“This one?” she asked, holding up the sumptuous red frock for her inspection. Quinn nodded, lightly fingering the decadent material. It looked even better up close.

“Go on, try it on.” The blue hair girl hustled Quinn behind a curtained off corner. “I think I’ve got just the jewelry to go with that, too,” she called as Quinn worked on the hook and eye clasps fastening the back.

Quinn ducked under the curtain a little self-consciously. The girl nodded, appraising her. “It fits like it was made for you. You know what would be perfect? Some red combat boots.”

“Ummm…” Quinn hedged.

The girl took in Quinn’s skeptical face and grinned. “Or not,” she said, flipping a lock of hair over her shoulder.

A low thrum caught Quinn’s attention. The sound came from outside the shop, like the blades of a helicopter, but slower.

The girl froze in the middle of tucking a red dyed feather in Quinn’s hair.

“You have got to be kidding me,” she said, eyes wide. She grabbed Quinn’s arm and towed her behind the counter, shoving her to the ground.

“What—“ A section of the roof was torn away and bits of thatch rained down on them. A dragon stuck its snout through the hole and into the shop.

Quinn froze in an awkward half crouch.

Dragon. Dragon! The logical side of Quinn repeated over and over to herself, and stupidly, the hand lettered sign in the front window of the shop flashed through her terror: The Dragon’s Horde.

Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth and she didn’t think she had the air in her lungs to scream even if she could get her mouth working. The trembling started in her hands and the harder she tried to control it, the more it took over her body.

The dragon opened its jaws and Quinn got a glimpse of a forked black tongue and carnivorous teeth before it bellowed a cry that congealed her blood and made her bury her head in the dusty floorboards. The air smelled of fetid meat.

A moan was the only sound Quinn could manage, fantasizing the knife-like teeth burying in her back. She felt the shop girl move beside her and stand up.

“Are you kidding me?” she shouted.

Quinn risked a peek at her from the floor.

The blue haired girl, hands on her hips, glared furiously at the dragon who paused and cocked his head to one side, his expression quizzical. “Aren’t you supposed to be seeking revenge on those brothers that rescued me? Trying to steal me back? I’ve been waiting for fifty years! And now I’ve got a customer—the first one all week! —you barge in here like you own the place!”

Quinn picked her head off the floor and stared at the girl, the shivering in her limbs starting to subside.

The dragon roared again, but it was less intense, with more of a pleading tone.

The girl actually stamped her foot before shouting, “I don’t care if you are on a schedule! Now go park yourself in a tree until I’m done here!”

The dragon gave and angry snort, causing smoke to curl out of his nostrils, stinging Quinn’s nose as he withdrew his head. The tree shuddered as he took off, the flap of his monstrous wings fading slowly.

The shop girl helped Quinn to her feet and tried to dust her off as Quinn shook like a leaf.

“Sorry about that,” she said with a sheepish grin. “He can be a little pushy.”

Quinn was at a loss for words.

Giving her an apologetic look, the girl offered, “Would twenty percent off your purchase help ?”


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