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Nov 17, 2012

Cutting Your Golden Prose

This was one of my seed scenes, and the except I've had up until now on my NaNoWriMo page for my novel October Knight. Now it looks like it might not make it into the novel. I tried really hard to work my Outline around to include it, until I realized that's what I was doing--twisting my Outline into knots to save my Golden Prose.


One of the most important (and most difficult) parts of writing is letting go of scenes we love when they don't forward the project. I publish it here as I bid it goodbye.

On my way to second period, I stepped in a foul, bubbling puddle of black goo which had oozed from another dimension. The veil between the dimensions thins in October, and this was a gunk, an evil enchantment, from a lower plane. A gunk is never good news, so I hopped away and shook foot as hard as I could, despite the annoyed looks from the other kids in the quad. I desperately hoped the gunk would involve only mild annoyance, like being forced to choose between my soul and my firstborn, rather than something life-shattering, like acne.
My left sneaker came alive and started eating my foot. Wtf? I hate that.
I’m as manly as the next guy, so I did not scream. I screeched like a vuvuzela at a Spanish football match. I had never wondered before why no one equips sneakers with teeth, and it was less of a mystery than ever. Teeth in shoes in a bad, bad idea. I tore off the shoe and threw it across the hall. But you know how it is with spells. They never leave well enough alone. Monster Shoe fixated on me. Using its shoelaces like legs, it began running after me. The top and sole of the shoe opened to reveal huge venomous fangs. My left foot was bloody from the first bite, and it hurt to run. But I ran. I ran like hell. Or, more accurately, I ran from hell, a little shoe-shaped piece of it. Monster Shoe skittered after me.
Other kids noticed and began to jeer. Whatever had activated the gunk was not from this world, but Monster Shoe was alive here and now, and the other students could all see it hounding me. Five or six of them whipped out their camera phones and began filming the chase to post online. I heard bets about whether Monster Shoe would kill me or just gnaw my leg off. They rooted for a kill. That’s how it is at my school. People really care about what happens to you.
When you’re being chased by homicidal hellspawned footwear, one emotion crowds out any other lesser considerations from your mind, one single terror-stricken thought obsesses you: This is really embarrassing.
I never trash discarded scenes. They may yet rise again to wander the earth devouring brains serve a useful purpose, if not in this novel then a sequel!

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