Deleted Material
Over the weekend, I watched the movie Austin Powers for a fundamental reason. The movie got stuck in my parent's DVD player. Eventually, I removed the DVD, but not before watching the deleted scenes.
Some were interesting, and the rest were so-so. I probably would have made the same choices as the movie editor. Why? It is challenging to visualize action and tempo when writing a script. Clearly, the scriptwriter had great intentions, but some ideas did not align with a snappy movie. Still, I enjoyed watching them.
This got me thinking about the material I cut from my books. The worst offender is my second book, where I needed to delete the first chapter because the main character was a know-it-all. I also need to delete three paragraphs that took a deep dive into radio technology. I did a great job writing the scene, but casual readers would have been bored out of their minds.
What if the book became popular? Would readers want to read this discarded material? I have never found a book with deleted sections. Even an author’s webpage would never have such information. The closest equivalent is the first draft. A select few cherish such documents, but ordinary readers would never seek them out. Only the absolute top writers have their first drafts published, and these have a limited market.
Why? A book differs vastly from a movie. Many people have reviewed and updated the script before filming begins. As a result, the deleted scenes look like polished gems. The first draft of a book is not polished and only represents a window into the author’s process.
Well, I could be the first author to include a deleted chapter. The problem is readers are not expecting this addition and would not know what to do with it. “Why did Bill write about X after the book was over?” Also, I do not wish to air my dirty laundry. “Hey world. Look at my big mistake!” However, there is hope for super famous authors. They can use less than desirable material to develop inferior quality short stories related to their popular book. Then, when the author dies, other authors take the notes, first drafts, and other deleted material to make “new books based on original material!”
What about deleted blogs? Since I began blogging, I dropped three topics. They did not materialize, and I learned a long time ago to not “put lipstick on a pig.” While a deleted blog might be interesting to explore, my four blog readers probably are grateful I kept those thoughts to myself.
I continue to find things I cannot write about fascinating. Including a deleted chapter seems simple, yet no author would ever attempt such an outlandish act. People and blog readers are fascinating.

You’re the best -Bill
December 22, 2021
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