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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writing Wednesday | Added Scenes

Instead of a prompt or guest post today, I thought it would be fun if I talked to you all about this crazy phenomenon that's been happening to me. I'm looking for feedback also. I'm curious as to whether other people have experienced this...

We all know that the first draft is, well... just that. A first. The first draft never sticks and odds are that it's going to be changed to the point where it's almost completely different. But it's still the same really. The only thing that tends to change fundamentally from a first draft is additions. 

Added on scenes are so interesting to me. You have a manuscript-it follows the outline, the characters get developed and it's completed. But then the creativity gods swoop in and drop this awesome scene idea into your brain and you fit it in. 

Added scenes tend to be the best ones in the book. Don't agree? I know from experience.

In The Thousand Year Curse, I added on three scenes after the manuscript was "done." Those three scenes are probably the best ones in the book. Here's one that I think really changed the ending of the book. If you haven't read it, don't worry- it's not too spoiling.

The main character has a somewhat HEA (it is a series after all) and she goes home. But her high school life is still plaguing her. After she completes her mission, she comes home and I had it ending right there and moving into the epilogue where she starts at DGA, her new school.

Instead of leaving it at that, I added a whole chapter/scene to kind of finish off the high school story and wrap it up. Ryder ends up fighting with Becca and figuring out why she was outcasted in the first place. I like this scene, possibly the best, because Ryder is starting to change. She's becoming independent and finally standing up for herself. 

I think this scene is powerful because Ryder is weak to start. She's bullied, she's lonely and she doesn't have too much going on for her. When this scene starts, she realizes that she needs to stand up for herself before it's too late. So she does. 

If this scene happened in the beginning it wouldn't make sense because Ryder's state of mind was much weaker and she was a little depressed. But after being in the Underworld and realizing she's strong, she can stand up for herself.

Without the scene, the readers would think Ryder hasn't changed and she isn't evolving which isn't true. As much as the plot has ups and downs, Ryder does. She goes through her on development throughout the book. I think that's just as important. 

Why would added scenes be the best?

Here's my theory. The story is written, the plot is set and the characters are (should be) well known by now. After finishing the story, your mind is going to recognize possible plot holes or where something needs to be tied up. It will fill it in and come up with a way to make it all fit.

Also once you're done with the first draft, you know your characters front, back and sideways. If there's an opportunity for something funny or an important scene, it's usually going to be written better, just based on the fact that you're much more versed. 

In The Curse of Betrayal, I'm going through my first draft and adding scenes. I just added this whole concept to the beginning of the book where there's a prank war. It's fun and shows a new side to Ryder but also lets the reader get to know the new characters. I think once you've completed the first draft, your creativity jumps up a notch. 

WRITERS! What do you think? I'd love to hear what you think of your added scenes and how they turn out. I think it's really interesting and haven't seen much online talking about it. Through my writing I can definitely see a pattern where added scenes are the best ones in the book.


  1. I've definitely found that added scenes are the best. After finishing most of my Red WIP, I went back because I felt like something was missing and added a scene that just blew me away. It's one of the only ones that all betas have agreed is the strongest. I've actually had that happen in my White WIP as well, I had a beta tell me a scene wasn't working, so I changed it to a new one, and it's probably my favorite scene out of the entire story.

    The only difficulty is making sure that the rest of the scene are up to par with the new one. You don't want one scene that stands out so much that the reader forgets the rest of the book.

    1. I know! That's so true. I am always second guessing myself after writing a really good scene, like wondering if I should redo all the other scenes. It's a push and pull kind of thing.


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