A Deleted Scene from In the Doghouse
One of the hardest choices an author has to make is if a scene should be cut from the final story and if the details should still be included as backstory somewhere else in the book. Hopefully, this decision is made with the help of a reliable editing team and beta readers, but ultimately, the reward or regret of said choice falls on the author.
In my case, I deleted a scene from In the Doghouse that I kinda regret deleting. The scene is from John’s point of view. John is one of Skip’s people-parents and he is Lucy’s “love of her life.” The problem is, he has left them.
In the Doghouse is about a couple’s breakup from (mostly) their dog’s point of view. The book also includes the woman’s point of view. And originally, the book included a single chapter with John’s point of view. I chose to delete it because it seemed odd that he only had one chapter, and I also thought, that in most cases, we seldom have full insight into why someone chooses to leave a long-term relationship. We’re often left wondering why a loved one would want to leave us. So rather than let the reader understand John better, I decided to share the confusion and one-sided experience instead.
What I wish I would have done is kept this chapter and then changed Chapter 49 (“LUCY, PLUS ONE”) to John’s point of view. Then he would have had two POV chapters which seemed more balanced. Also, I pride myself on trying to understand other peoples’ choices and what changes or sacrifices they will make in the pursuit of happiness. In hindsight, by deleting his chapter, was I unfair to John? Hm … maybe I just stumbled upon a sequel.
Of course, no one has complained (though they have asked for a sequel). In the Doghouse has received two gold awards already, so my regret isn’t festering. Perhaps it was the right choice after all. I’m turning it over to you to judge, dear reader. And I’ll just keep this experience in my writing pocket for my next book, Imogene.