Friday, June 24, 2011

Deleted Chapters (Westward Bound)

As I've been going through the editing process the last few months- what to cut, what to keep - it made me think back to when I did the same for Painless. 

Upon returning to the cutting room floor, what I found were some chapters that I wish I had kept in, some that deserved to be cut, but were still interesting as a sole entity and had some value, and some that were downright disasters of the "what was I thinking" variety. 

So I thought it might be interesting to post some of the worthwhile chapters. The plan is to post a couple chapters a week here at the blog (minus this long, boring intro). Sounds like a good summer Friday thing.

One little note of caution: I am posting them as they last were before they were cut, no additional editing or proofreading was done, so might be some rough patches. Also, once a change was made to Painless - ie. something or someone was cut - the story changed, and must compensate. So basically, not everything will be in perfect symmetry to the story in the final version of Painless.

Deleted Chapter #1 "Westward Bound"

Summary: In the book, when they escaped upstate NY using the Muddle Huddle (Chapter 65-72), they go directly to NC to try to get to Dr. Jordan. But in the original, they first trek westward looking to hideout while they ponder there next move. In doing so, they return to Billy's hometown of Johnstown, PA, and his return to his roots (and facing his past) helps him figure a way out of trouble. As is the case with their journey, they feel the stress of Operation Anesthesia closing in on them.

Why was it cut? Simply put - speed and pace. I liked this storyline, and thought it showed much insight into Billy, but it just didn't make sense with so little time at their disposal, to be doing anything but taking the most direct route to NC (where they though Beth and Chuck were) and Dr. Jordan (who they thought was the key to finding them).



They moved westward, facing more danger and than Lewis and Clark ever did. It certainly wasn’t the most linear route to Clarksville, but it was the one Billy was most familiar with, and right now home court was one of his few advantages.

But any comfort provided by their escape was tempered, knowing that it was just a matter of time before the