Authors go through many revisions. It takes time and many cuts to get the perfect manuscript and I deleted a number of scenes or took a scene and transformed it into something else while keeping the main plot point in tact.
There was a character in The Chosen named Adrian who was Catrina’s go-to make-up artist. Catrina is an eccentric girl with a secret that I shouldn’t say or else it’ll spoil everything. But the one thing you should know about her is she loves to dress up. She’s always wearing wigs or dying her hair and putting in colored contacts to look like a completely different person. It’s rare that she looks herself two days in a row.
Catrina had more of a dangerous past, but in later revisions I realized that it wasn’t appropriate for her character. There are hints of how dangerous she was in the first draft and most notably in this scene. I was even making a language and have some notes somewhere on it. Catrina, most notably, was nicknamed Zelnos, which meant eccentric in the Zincian language, but I decided to scrap that idea and go with Latin as their language.
I believe Adrian managed to survive three revisions, but I ended up cutting him and his scene out because it slowed down the story and essentially it wasn’t needed. I found I could easily summarize the just of what happened when everybody gets back together for the ball scene.
The following is a scene that introduces Adrian in the first draft of The Chosen. It ended up being more elaborate and fleshed out in draft two and finally tuned in draft three before being cut completely. The she in question in the first sentence is Catrina. Enjoy!
She led Kaia through an alley and halted in front of a plain, white, medium sized, rectangular building. Taking hold of the cold, gold-plated knob on the plain white door, she gently turned it and pushed the door open. Kaia followed her inside.
The inside was brightly lit with colorful displays of gowns, suits, and uniforms. The walls were filled with shelves lined with head mannequins with various wigs on. Before the heads were small square cases with a clear lid. With closer inspection, Kaia noted that the contents were various eye colors. Some of the heads had glasses, others didn’t.
She turned, noting that Catrina had gone to the front desk. The counter was actually a small display case. Inside were various jewelry, all glittering like stars. A smartly dressed woman was sitting on a stool in front of a monitor.
“May I help you?” she asked coolly. Her dark brown hair was swept up into a neat bun. Her lips were rose and her eyes were decorated with a light purple. She swept her eyes away from the monitor, revealing long eyelashes.
Catrina looked at the flashy name tag on the woman’s breast. “Yes, you can Maria. Get me Adrian.”
“I’m sorry, Adrian is…busy,” she answered, taking a quick look at the door behind her.
“Really? I heard differently.” Catrina glared at the woman. Maria looked flustered and took another glance at the door behind her.
“I’ll see if he can spare a moment…” She got up promptly and exited through the door.
Kaia walked up to Catrina, staring in disbelief. “Couldn’t we have come at a different time? She said Adrian was busy.”
Catrina placed her hand on top of Kaia’s head. Looking at her eye-to-eye, she told her, “It’s okay. He’s probably working on some other ‘order’, but this is our only chance. We need to make it count.”
The two heard a small click and both turned to see Maria reappeared with a man. He was in his mid thirties. Thin, messy, blonde hair covered his head and fell haphazardly into his eyes. He was lean, but muscular. She could see the small stubs on his face from not shaving for a couple of days. His beard was cluttered with browns and grays, unlike the top of his head. Wrinkles formed under his eyes from days of no sleep. She noted his large, rough, calloused hands.
“Zelnos?” he breathed. His voice was rough, almost harsh. It made him seem older than what he really was.
“Yes, Adrian. And I’ve come regarding the favor you owe me,” Catrina answered in a smooth manner.
His light blue eyes darted from Catrina to Kaia. “I was afraid of that,” he sighed. “What do you want?” Catrina leaned across the counter, causing him to flinch slightly.
“Turn me, my friend, and another into merfolk.”
Adrian blinked at her. “That’s it?”
“By the time of the ball. The other is a male. We’ll stop by within the hour to pick up our things.” She headed toward the door. Kaia followed her slowly.
“The royal ball? But that starts…” he trailed off, looking wildly around for a clock. Squinting at the time on the monitor before him, he recoiled, “I can’t possibly turn you three into merfolk within an hour and a half!”
Catrina halted at the door. “Stop talking and start working.” The two girls exited. Adrian looked wildly at the door, and with a huff turned around. He barked orders at Maria before working on his new order.