Deleted Scenes Folder


If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I love the behind-the-scenes extras on movies/TV shows DVDs, including the deleted scenes.

In one blog post, I wondered if the writer or director know, while writing or before shooting, if a scene is going to get cut…that it just bogs the story down. I even went so far as to wonder which of Julia‘s scenes would get the ax and if I would realize it while writing.

After some drastic scene-cutting, I can say that no, as I was writing the scenes, I had no idea they’d be cut. It wasn’t until I saw everything together that I realized they were too slow or didn’t add anything or messed up the timeline.

Now, after looking at yet another draft, and getting some beta reader comments back on the beginning of Julia, all I can say is SAVE YOUR DELETED SCENES!

One of the scenes I’d cut was of Julia and her sister talking. It didn’t do anything other than show her sister’s anger. I had plenty of other scenes that did that.

When some of my beta readers questioned why Julia’s sister acts as she does, I was surprised. I thought it was clear. Obviously, I knew why, but that wasn’t coming across. I looked at her sister’s scenes and none of them lent themselves to explanation. However, a certain deleted scene did. The setting was quiet and tried to capture a nostalgic moment between the sisters…that lack of action was actually one of the reasons it got cut…and the very reason I needed to resurrect it.

I was right to cut it the first time, though. It was just regurgitating what the characters and audience already knew. It just wasn’t working hard enough. But now, with some polish and extra purpose, it was a salvageable scene.

Luckily, I still had a copy of the scene so I didn’t have to rewrite it. I like to keep early copies of a story, as least while I’m working on it, so that I can repurpose discarded lines and actions.

What about you? Once it’s gotten the red pen, is it gone forever? Or do you keep it…just in case…or for posterity?


7 thoughts on “Deleted Scenes Folder

  1. bethfinke

    I usually do save my cuts, but then have a heckuva time remembering where I saved them if I want to use them later.
    Note to self: get organized!

  2. Every couple of days (assuming that I’ve made significant changes), I safe the draft with that day’s date. So my Julia folder has versions that stretch all the way back to the beginning. Instead of having a specific folder for deleted scenes, I actually just go back to a date when I knew the scene was still in the story.

  3. Great post! 🙂
    I save deleted scenes (and if I don’t give them a document of their own, they remain in the first draft or second draft documents at least). Some are just fun to have because I know why they were there and what they meant to me but why they should never go into a finished story. Others may make it back in or make up the structure of a piece of short fiction.

    • Ha! Hoaders: Digital Edition, next on A&E.

      One of my co-worker recently gave me pointers on cleaning out my work inbox. It went something like this: “just do what the email says, then delete the email.” Um, right. But if there are instructions or attachments or anything else, I WILL need it later. Why not just have it stored in one place? Anyway, I’m right there with you.

  4. I’m always excited to see the deleted scenes on DVD but they usually turn out not to be too interesting, haha. Great tip, though! Will have to remember that when I get to revision mode. 🙂

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