Often, you inadvertently let a character take you down a rat hole. Yesterday, I let Janet get involved in a really steamy love scene. It was fun writing and imagining the characters in the scene, what they would do, and how they would feel. The text appearing on my laptop’s screen was really erotic. And, fun to write. Two hours and somewhere on the order of fifteen hundred words later, I finished. It was an emotional experience and I needed a break.

While away from my laptop, my brain started working and alarm bells went off. Not about the scene which some might thing was pornographic, but how did it advance the story.

Were the two in love? No.

Were they, in the story, going to have a long term relationship? No.

Did the passage add an interesting twist to the plot? Not really.

Did it add to character development? No, not really. It confirmed what the reader already knew.

Deleting your own work, no matter how good or bad it may be, is hard. I read the passage again, liked it but cut and pasted it into another document that contains is passages I’ve taken out for one reason or another. The words are not gone forever because I often go back an use them for ideas in other sections of this book or others, but for the time being, they are out of the manuscript. Maybe some other time in the story.

In this case the author, not the characters turned down a chance to make love. Oh well!