posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Everyone knows what happens in the aftermath of Thanksgiving dinner -- LEFT-OVERS!
Some writers have left-overs too. You know, those scenes or partial scenes that get excised somewhere between the first draft and final version? Instead of merely hitting "delete" many writers keep those tidbits in a separate file. Like the out-takes section on a film DVD, writers post deleted material on their websites, blogs or newsletters.
In fact, when I started this post, I planned to include of few of my own "left-overs." But then I realized I don't have any! Oh don't get me wrong, I cut PLENTY of words in the course of my writing and re-writing. I even keep hunks of it around, but in the true spirit of left-overs, most of it gets used somewhere else in my story.
Unlike my too, too fleshy self, my writing tends to be spare and lean. During revisions I'm much more likely to add scenes rather than trim them. I gobble up all my left-over lines and phrases and find myself casting about for more. Scraps of conversations, bits and pieces of scenery, clothing, even gestures wind up getting thrown into the mix. For example, I recently asked my CP's hubby, who is an ex-cop and a gun collector, some questions about a particular brand of firearm. He was a wonderful fount of information and even owned an exact model of the weapon, which he showed me. He ended our discussion with this pearl of advice, "Don't point at anything you don't intend to kill."
OOOO! That terse little quote sounded exactly like something my hero (also an ex-cop) would say. So guess which words my hero eventually utters to the heroine at a particularly tense moment in the story?
But back to the subject of left-overs... In my case, I'm afraid life really does imitate art.
Personally, I love Thanksgiving left-overs. Turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup... YUM! Unfortunately, I seldom have anything to make any of these scrumptious treats because I don't cook Thanksgiving dinner. (GASP!) I know, I know BLASPHEMY! Well, um... not quite.
The fact that I no longer cook Thanksgiving dinner stems from a long ago UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT involving the ex. He was the DH then and decided to invite his family to our house for Thanksgiving. All very well and good, except I was alone in the kitchen slaving to put the big turkey dinner with all the trimmings on the table. He did drag out our wedding china and set the table. But while he'd been busy inviting eight people to dinner, he forgot to tell his boss, and fifteen minutes before the turkey was scheduled to come out of the oven, the phone rang -- YOU GUESSED IT! Off he ran to work and I didn't see him again for FIVE HOURS (something he did for almost every holiday we were married).
Once he finally returned home and all his relatives had departed, I very calmly said, "I am never cooking Thanksgiving dinner again."
And I haven't.
Oh, I've fixed side dishes for pot lucks, and bought the ingredients (like this year) for many a dinner. But I rather enjoy "embracing my masculine side" and sitting back while somebody else does the cooking and clean up. Sure, I miss out on a lot of left-overs, but on the whole, I'm much happier for it. Oh yeah, and the ex kept the wedding china, too! I really didn't mind because I've never had another occasion to use it.
What about you? If you are a writer, do you have left-overs from your stories? Do you do anything with them? And if you're not a writer, do you like left-overs, of the written or edible variety?