Deleted Scene from A Year in Her Life
My first draft of A Year in Her Life was over 700 pages, which was much longer than I ever intended. I knew I had to cut a great deal of extraneous material, hone in on my most important themes and clearly focus the story. My second draft was down to 300 pages, so I have a lot of deleted scenes to choose from. Bonnie, the main character, had a close relationship with her parents in the first draft, particularly with her mother. Most of that relationship was removed in subsequent drafts as it didn’t further the main plot lines of the novel. The following scene is a conversation between Bonnie and her mother on Bonnie’s first day of her new job. I like it, because it demonstrates their loving relationship.
Monday morning, Bonnie was awake long before
the alarm went off. She only slept for an hour at a time all night long,
worried about being late for work. At 5:00, she finally capitulated to anxiety,
got up and made a pot of coffee. She took her cup to the back steps and lit a
cigarette. She hadn’t been this nervous in years. She was less worried about
her dates with Stan and her early crush on Linda than this job. Finally, she
had direction, something she was passionate about. What if she messed it up?
Her mother joined
her on the porch. “You’re up early.” She blew on her cup of coffee before
Bonnie nodded and
stubbed out her third cigarette.
“You were always
a worrier.” Her mom took another sip. “Since you were a little girl, you wanted
always to do the ‘right’ thing. You wanted to make people happy, and you felt
bad when you couldn’t. You know you’ll do the best you can at this job. You
care so much about everyone there.”
Her mother squeezed Bonnie’s hand and Bonnie nodded.
“It’s been wonderful to see you this excited. You’ve worked so
hard, and your father and I are very proud of you. No one expects you to know
everything on your first day. They chose you, because they like you and they
like your work. You were so happy to get this job. Don’t let anxiety take away
your joy.” She kissed the top of Bonnie’s head. “Let’s get ready for work.”
Bonnie stood up and hugged her mother. “You’re right. I’m going to love this