Thursday, July 14, 2011

Deleted Chapters #4 (Meeting the Princess)

Painless opens with Billy having already rented the cottage and he had previously met Carolyn during his initial visit to look at the property on Labor Day. This original chapter details that initial visit, and his running into resistance. During the visit, he meets Carolyn for the first time. The chapters were basically condensed into one, so it began the same way, with Billy pulling up to the house and seeing the children playing on the lawns, which brought back hurtful memories. This “deleted chapter” picks right after Carolyn and Billy meet for the first time (as was described in flashback in the book)

Why cut: Wanted to get more quickly into the story. Not that it opened with frenzied action, but thought a day of house-hunting would slow things down. Also, many of the elements described, such as Billy and Carolyn’s initial meeting could be done with flashbacks, and things like his visit to her room ended up taking place at a later stage in the book.

The picture: ...but you can call me Princess. Didn’t have any pictures handy of Princess Carolyn, so Princess Kate will have to do. Not to mention,  she's a lot easier on the eyes than the hockey goalie from last week. 
As always, the deleted chapters are unedited, and might no longer fit the context of the final version of the story. 

"First Meeting"
“Why don’t you wash up for dinner, sweetie,” Beth addressed Carolyn while Chuck set her down.

“Can we play for five minutes?” she continued to negotiate.

“The steaks still aren’t even defrosted yet,” Chuck stepped in, “Why don’t you let her play for a few minutes?”

Beth relented, but didn’t look happy about it. “If it’s okay with Mr. Harper, then five minutes.”
Carolyn began hopping with excitement. “You wanna see my room, Billy?”

He shrugged. “Sure, why not?”

“You better hurry—I only got five minutes!”

Friday, July 8, 2011

Deleted Chapters #3 (Le Swiss)

Remember the cab driver named Martin? Well, in the original Martin played a much bigger role. And Le Swiss was his nickname. But as you'll see, his role was probably a little too coincidental to be believable (although that could probably be said for many parts of any fictional tale), but he was still a fun character. The first section depicts when Billy first meets him after Dana pulled the gun on him and drove off. 

The pic is of Charlestown Chiefs goalie Denis Lemieux, he of the classic quotes, played by the actor Yvon Barrette. Also a French Canadian goalie, and goes with the Slapshot theme in the book. In retrospect, I wonder if I was subliminally channeling him when creating Le Swiss. But since he ended up on the cutting room floor, I guess it doesn't matter.

As always, the deleted chapters are unedited, and might no longer fit the final version of the story. 

Le Swiss

I have good news and bad news—which would you like to hear first?

A common greeting of the modern day messenger. A saying that most likely began eons ago in an attempt to soften a blow. And the reason there’s a phrase, don’t kill the messenger, was probably because at one time it was a very common practice to kill the messenger. Over time it seeped into the modern vernacular. Billy thought how someone answered that question said a lot about their outlook on the world. Are they optimistic or pessimistic? Are they hopeful, or are they trying to go through life shielding themselves from feeling pain?

Selecting good news first is more logical and fits with the pulse of life. Good news—birth—ends in what most believe is bad news—death.

Billy always chose the bad news first. Not because he was a masochist, but because he was a writer. In a great story, the character will rise from the ashes—overcome odds—endure. A great story always starts with the bad news and rise toward triumph. He hoped this case would be no different.

In his current predicament, the bad news was adding up. Dana had held him at gunpoint, opened up past wounds, accused him of being a kidnapper, and worst of all, drove off with the tracking device in the backseat. She left him standing alone on Union Avenue without even a phone—he was helpless to do anything.

Good news: He found a taxi at a gas station about a half a mile up the street.

Bad news: the cabbie was off duty.

Good news: Billy did have one possession—his wallet, which had the money he took out of the ATM and Gare Centrale train station before their trip. The driver smiled at the $200 “off duty” fare, which meant 100% profit, and said, “Get in—where we headed?”

Bad news: Billy had no idea.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Deleted Chapters #2 (Coach)

In the last week's deleted chapter "Westward Bound" Billy, Dana & Carolyn take a detour to after escaping Operation Anesthesia in upstate NY, and head to Billy's hometown of Johnstown PA. In this week's chapters, they seek refuge at the home of his former football coach, who is referenced throughout the book.

What I like about this chapter(s): Since Coach is mentioned prominently in the book, I like that he was brought to life, and by doing so, more is learned about Billy and what drives him. Coach's interaction with Carolyn also brings out his softer side.

Why was it cut?: These chapters are an extension of "Westward Bound" so the same reasons apply: Speed, pace, and it just didn't make sense to be taking detours when running for life when every second matters.

Note 1: If you're wondering about the choice of photo, All the Right Moves was filmed in Johnstown, and it centered around a headstrong football player and coach who butted heads, which sounded familiar. Although, the big difference I think is that Billy Harper is way cooler (and taller) than Tom Cruise.

Note 2: My HS football coaches were much different than Coach Blake, but that doesn't mean they didn't help shape as many lives. So with that said, I'd like to wish my coach, Chuck Drury, the best as he recently decided to leave my old school after 35 years!



In football terms it was a Hail Mary.

On the second knock a light shot on inside the house.

Billy took a deep breath, then another, before the front door aggressively swung open. Dana stood behind him, holding a still-sleeping Carolyn in her arms.

A man dressed in a bathrobe stood in the door-frame. He angrily put on a pair of glasses as if he didn’t believe his initial finding. 

“What the hell are you doing here?” he screeched.