I didn't make my writing quota on the weekend, and I don't want to end up posting something I'm not 100% happy with. It'd be unfair to you guys. So, I decided to give myself an extra weekend to get the next few chapters ready.
Also, it was my birthday yesterday, and I wanted to celebrate! Yay! I had the awesomest birthday ever, and I only hope that it bodes well for the year to come.
Instead of a chapter, I'm sharing with you some "Behind The Scenes" stuff from writing both Damned Demented Demons and Vile Violent Vacations. Basically, you get to see my, um, process? Haha...you may be surprised...
We begin with the actual outline I used for Damned Demented Demons. As you can see, the outline actually starts a good way into the story - that's because up until this point, I didn't have an outline. I suddenly realized that the story was turning out to be much more complicated (not to mention longer) than I originally thought it would be, so I figured an outline would be best.
In making the outline, I figured I had two options for the story - I could end it sooner (A), or I could make it much more complicated (B). In the end, I think I asked the readers, and they said they'd prefer longer (I shouldn't have been surprised). Looking back, I think the story would have been very unsatisfying if I had tried to end it sooner.
As you can see, the outline isn't really, um, detailed. Actually, it even has some stupid ideas that thankfully I decided against. Also, some things that turned out to be fairly major events - Ron and Hermione arriving, for example - are thrown in as options with seemingly no regard for their repurcussions one way or the other on the story.
I can't post the outline that I'm currently using for VVV yet - because of spoilers, but I assure you, it's not much different than this one.
-convo about kids on way to check records (scratch this, do it later - bye to Malfoy?)
-they go check out the records - reflect on harry's thoughts on the patronuses/memories/Sam (Sam had told him that Dean sold his soul for him, but he didn't know it was a deal...)
-malfoy finds out they are hunters
-harry finds out about the forty years in hell?
-demon!phil attacks (B-Sam uses powers, demon!Phil reveals that demons are connected to dementors - dementors serve double purpose, get rid of Winchesters temporarily, lure Harry, but Harry wasn't supposed to save them)
-Harry reads about prophecy existing
-they split up for some reason (help phil? scout for more demons?)...Dean + Malfoy, Harry + Sam
-Dean + Malfoy conversation = wrong side of the war - "wanted to please my father"
-Harry + Sam = Dean went to hell for Sam...Demon blood? B-not our abilities but our choices...reveals about being horcrux.
-Larger scale demon attack. Sam has to use powers.
-Malfoy and Harry erase memories of victims (Muggles from outside + two security)
-Harry contemplates prophecy, Castiel warns against it.
-Harry goes to hall of prophecy - getting Malfoy to distract Dean and Sam - meets up with Castiel while he debates whether to have Dean and Sam come in to get prophecy. Castiel warns against it.
-Call it a night, say bye to Malfoy.
-Go back to S. Carolina to regroup, figure out the dementor/demon connection. Meet up with Deacon who tells them that the dementors started moving North approx. same time they left earlier.
-Dean desides that if demons are after Harry they should stick with him...be ready for trap, depending on dementor movements, now that they know.
-Head up to Boston - driving in Impala, while Harry's team takes broomstick.
-Cas warns at some point that Harry is a seal - the death of a savior (on some new moon or full moon or equinox or something at a certain location/with certain object?)
-(Ron/Hermione come to help?)
-Protect Harry until time has passed that he could be used - demon attacks
-Harry goes home.
CUTTING ROOM FLOOR:
In DDD, I don't remember having to delete any huge chunks of writing/dialog. The one time I did delete a whole scene, I not only posted it as a deleted scene, but I also reworked it in later from a different POV. If I DID delete large chunks of writing/dialog, they weren't saved.
While writing VVV, I've taken another approach. Any time I change my mind about something that is already over a paragraph long (or several lines of dialog), I cut it and paste it at the bottom of my working-document. This means that at the end of my document, I have a whole bunch of little snippets. I started doing this mainly because the first couple times I wanted to rewrite, I was worried I would like what I had deleted better than the rewrite - so, I simply saved what I had deleted just in case.
I've never actually reused the deleted bits yet - but I did end up writing a whole scene that I realized would be much better suited to the end of the story rather than the middle - so it's currently sitting on my "cutting room floor" waiting to be rewritten slightly and tacked onto one of the end chapters. I can't post that one, obviously, because it's still to come...but I can show you some alternate versions of some scenes already posted.
You'll notice that the chapter numbers don't match up. Sometimes, especially at the start, I would go to post a chapter and decide that it was too short. I would then combine it with the next chapter and then have to renumber all my chapters.
Also, you'll notice that at least once the final sentence in a deleted segment isn't finished. That is just how they are: The exact moment that I realized that I didn't like where the scene was going captured for prosterity.
Deleted from Chapter 8:
“He had every reason to be angry, Gin” Harry said. “Sam doesn’t seem worried.”
“I think Sam might be too tired to think, let alone worry,” Ginny said.
“Well, if Dean isn’t back when he wakes up, we’ll deal with it then,” Harry said.
“Are you going to tell them about the prophecy?” Ginny asked.
“Yeah, yes...I’ll have to” Harry said.
Deleted from Chapter 9:
She was so caught up in trying to figure out how to phrase her question, that she forgot about the no unnecessary-magic rule that Harry had insisted on, and simply muttered a spell that would heat the food on the plate evenly, and then floated the plate over to the table.
“Do you want a drink too?” Ginny asked, flicking her wand behind her to open one of the cupboards, and then snatching the glass she summoned out of the air on her way to see what they had in the fridge.
“Uh, don’t suppose you have any beer?” Dean answered.
“Firewhiskey, alright?” Ginny asked over her shoulder as she moved to a different cupboard. “If you don’t tell Harry, you can have a glass of his.”
“Sure, whiskey’s fine” Dean answered.
“On the rocks?” Ginny asked. “I love firewhiskey with ice, if you haven’t tried it, you should.”
“Ok,” Dean said.
Ginny actually had a spell for ice cubes, so she just used that. Dropping them into
DELETED FROM CHAPTER 14:
Sam wasn’t too nervous about teaching the training session the next day. He had led a tutoring group at Stanford, and he knew Hunting better now than he had ever known the material in his pre-law courses. He was a little worried that they were walking into the Ministry of Magic - into a room full of Aurors – when just a year before they had found out that the American Aurors had a standing order to bring them in for questioning. Harry didn’t seem fazed by it all though. Sam knew Harry was powerful figure in the Wizarding World – but then, Sam also knew that people feared him for that very reason. If he acted too much above the law, it would only fuel people’s fears that he may still turn dark. So, yeah, maybe Sam was a little nervous, but it wasn’t about the teaching.
Dean seemed to be on the same page as him. He quizzed Harry about the security set-up at the Ministry, asked whether they could bring weapons in, how many escape routes there were. Apparently a lot of the offices – including Harry’s own – had their own floo connections. Harry seemed to understand why that didn’t settle their nerves though, so they got a crash course on how to use the floo. Harry reassuring them that Muggles could use it without any problems, just that they probably wouldn’t like it.
DELETED FROM BURROW SCENE:
“Um, guys...I was wondering...” Ron started, and Sam wondered why he suddenly sounded a bit nervous. “...if maybe you could do me a favour tonight?”
“What kind of favour?” Sam asked.
“Uh, you’re going to Malfoy’s right?” Ron asked.
“Yeah,” Dean confirmed.
“Listen, it’s not that I don’t trust him – it’s just that...” Ron said. “I’m not 100% sure he’s not involved somehow.”
“What makes you say that,” Sam asked.
“After the first few ghosts attacks, I went to the library to take out some books on Muggle ghosts and they were already checked out...and...” Ron sighed, “Harry already yelled at me for abusing my authority, but I had them tell me who had the books...and it was Malfoy.”
“So, it’s against the law to look at books?” Dean asked.
“That’s what Harry said,” Ron rolled his eyes, “and before you say it too, he also pointed out that Malfoy works with the Department of Mysteries and there’s no way of telling if it wasn’t related to work...but, I just...it’s MALFOY.”
“And you don’t trust him,” Sam stated.
“I just said it wasn’t that!” Ron declared.
“No, I’m pretty sure you’re telling us that you don’t trust him,” Dean said slowly.
“Nevermind,” Ron muttered. “Just, don’t tell Harry, I mentioned it.”
“Ok,” Sam said.
“You know, for a whole year in school, Harry gave us crap for not believing him when he said something was up with Malfoy – and it turned out he was right and Hermione and I felt horrible for not believing him then,” Ron said, throwing his hands in the air, “and so I thought, you know, Harry *might* just have my back on this – but apparently the lesson we learned wasn’t about Malfoy being a sneaky bugger at all, it was that Harry Potter is never bloody wrong and Ron Weasley should just shut-up and do as he’s told!”
“Ok,” Dean said slowly, “Ron...we’ll keep an eye open tonight, ok? We won’t tell Harry or anything and we’ll keep an eye out for anything strange – or well, stranger than normal for you folks.”
“Really?” Ron asked.
“Yes,” Dean said.
And that's it! I've got two more deleted scenes (so far), but they are from chapters still to come...so, maybe at the end of all this, I'll do another one of these posts and share them along with the outline for VVV - which points out not only the points that get added in at the spur of the moment, but also the things that I had originally planned to do, that haven't been (and probably won't be) done.
For those of you wondering, a standard VVV chapter is 4,000 words. I usually take four days to write one chapter (writing 1000 words each day). If, for some reason, I decide that I have to rewrite a scene (as happened twice this week), it really sets me back...because, sadly, VVV is not how I earn a living, so I have very little time to devote to it.
What really astounds people is the way I wrote DDD. Back in the spring summer of 2009, I had a very slow internet connection. I work from home over the internet most days - the application that I needed for work took about 5 minutes to reload after I performed a task. So, I would keep DDD open on my computer and write during those 5 minute periods. Sadly, these days my internet connection is amazing (and my job is slightly different), so I actually have to wait until the working day is over before I work on my writing.
So, sorry about the no new chapter thing this week! I just want to make sure that when I do get you guys a chapter, that I'm completely happy with it.
We'll return to our regularly scheduled chapter releases next week!! Thanks for understanding! :)
In the meantime, if you guys have any questions about my writing or the way I combined the universes - ask away.