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EWTF preview series: bathroom shenanigans and killing darlings

You have to kill your darlings, they say.

You can ask my LH peanut gallery if you want – I have a thing about bathroom shenanigans. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps you can blame it on the Sims I used to use to illustrate my stories for so long, and anyone who plays Sims knows that Sims get themselves stuck in bathrooms. But then long after I stopped writing around Sims, I still placed my characters in bathrooms. Looking back on older work, there were even bathroom scenes then too. Fights in bathrooms, first kisses in bathrooms, sex in bathrooms, escape to bathrooms, breakups in bathrooms, marriage proposals in bathrooms.

Really, what is it about bathrooms? I have no clue.

When I began, this book had many scenes of bathroom shenanigans. Now, there are only three. I grieve their loss, but it’s probably for the best. I mean really, as much as I might like to, I do know that I cannot write a whole book taking place in a bathroom.

(A whole short story, maybe. Hmmm… 😉 )

There were many reasons I ended up taking out this flashback, and the least of them was probably because it took place in a bathroom. Because it’s a flashback, in a chapter that already has too many. Because it’s a wedding memory within a wedding scene, which makes it highly confusing in space and time. Because there’s already enough of Corbin in such an early chapter where he doesn’t need to be a focus character yet. Because other than being gratuitous drunken bathroom sex, it really doesn’t add much to the story (that is, if you don’t count gratuitous drunken bathroom sex an asset to a story). Because there was already *another* Corbin sex memory in the same chapter, and well, lovely as he might be, how many Corbin sex memories do we need in one chapter? (You don’t have to answer that question, lol!)

And the verdict was, there should be only one.

And this one didn’t win.

When you edit out a scene, it doesn’t always mean it didn’t happen. A novel has limited space, and I have thousands of words of material that couldn’t find a place in this one novel. Some of it will make it into other novels, some of it was just meant for me in getting to know these characters. Some of it I would love to share, but just can’t find the place for it.

Given that I think this will likely be Amelia’s only POV story (point-of-view, for the non-writer types), and that Corbin doesn’t really think much about it at all (to be honest, which he always is), this memory would never be told otherwise.

And what a shame that would be, because dude, it’s a drunken wedding bathroom hookup! 😀

So we shall let it exist somewhere in the world, even if it’s only here on this blog. Amelia and Corbin only hooked up two times – this was the first:

The last time Amelia had been here was for another cousin’s wedding, which was also the night she met Corbin. She’d been wearing another of Piper’s odd dresses, so far outside her usual comfort zone, woven from little more than string and glittering sequins. It reminded her of the criss-crossing Chinese lanterns overhead. It left her exposed and wanting to wrap herself in her own arms.

She didn’t know Corbin at all that night except that he was the groom’s best man. She had just broken up with Eric. She was drunk, and hooking up was something she never did; Corbin was mostly sober, but hooking up was something he did all the time. They slipped into the bathroom together. They locked the door and he lifted her to the marble sink countertop, slipping up her stringy dress as his hands moved up her thighs. He unbuttoned his pants. She turned on the faucet so people wouldn’t knock, and the pounding water sprayed up and wet her arm where she grasped for something solid to hold onto. She hadn’t even remembered to ask his name until it was over.

He was the best man to her cousin’s new husband. Amelia couldn’t rule out that she’d never see him again, but she certainly never guessed that he’d score himself a job at her parents’ spa that night too.

Chapter 1.2 is the chapter this murdered darling was robbed from, but I promise, the chapter still has one bathroom scene left in it! That should be up tomorrow night or so, when you’ll get to meet Amelia a little bit more. 🙂

5 thoughts on “EWTF preview series: bathroom shenanigans and killing darlings”

  • Personally, I’d love to see a short story that takes place entirely in the bathroom, lol! 😉

    “…how many Corbin sex memories do we need in one chapter?” Um…lots! 😀

    I can understand the reasons for cutting the scene out, but I’m glad you shared it here. The nice thing about publishing in this age is that we have other places to share these little bits that might otherwise disappear.

  • LOL! A collection of short stories called ‘Bathroom Shennanigans’! You know you want to. 😉

    I hate it when I have to cut scenes out. With the way that I write, it happens a LOT. I always keep them, though. You’re right when you say it’s not that they don’t happen, just that you don’t really read about them.

    I agree with Shana. This is one of the great things about the internet/blogs/etc… those lost scenes don’t have to be forgotten! 🙂

  • Oh you guys! You realize I just about HAVE to write a short story entirely taking place in a bathroom now? Maybe even a whole collection, lol!

    Shana, you know, he’s been with enough women, I could probably do a short story collection comprised entirely of Corbin sex memories from all the women he’s slept with, lmao! Actually, you know, that’s a fun idea, lol!

    Oh no, I have enough book ideas as it is! 😮

    Mao, between my first draft and the last, I lose a lot too. It’s all part of the discovery process. It’s a good idea to save them though. And the ones that are truly cut (as in, not canon to the story anymore) I usually end up recycling in another story, lol!

  • Aw, I do actually like that scene but I understand why you decided to cut it out too. But I’m satisfied just knowing I’ve read it and that cutting it out doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. 😉

    Quite seriously though, a short story that takes place entirely in a bathroom is a good idea! I’ve read a few stories where there’s no change of setting at all and it can be really interesting.

  • Carla, I liked that one too. Bonus though, I think it may prompt a short story in another collection. So at least it’s not lost! 😉

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