Before there was Netflix (I know, I’m old, haha), I used to binge-watch a lot of TV series and would have to wait eagerly for the DVD boxes to come out. Two elements were always my favorite: the blooper reel and the deleted scenes. The first was laugh-out-loud funny, of course, but the second was even cooler. It offered even more of my favorite characters…
Then, and I still don’t know what changed it, I slowly started feeling differently about deleted scenes. I came to realize that there’s a reason they’re deleted. Sometimes, it was because network shows run on a tight time frame and they were just too long. But other times, I found myself watching them and agreeing that it was for the better they’d been deleted. As much as I love the Lord of the Rings, for example, the extended version is really, reallllllly long.
In book box sets, I loved deleted scenes as well. Again, why wouldn’t I, when they offered more of the characters I loved so much? But here, the same thing happened. I would read them and then agree that yes, they didn’t belong in the book. Only rarely did I feel a deleted scene should’ve been included in the original book. I still love them, don’t get me wrong, but I could almost always see why they weren’t included.
I only have one box set with deleted scenes, the No Shame box set. My other box sets only have bonus materials in the form of extra chapters (for example in the Irresistible Omegas box sets) or sometimes even a whole novella (like in my Ignite box set). Part of that is because I don’t often have deleted scenes anymore. The No Shame series was my first series, so I’ve learned a lot since then and my writing process has become more efficient. I usually detect much earlier when a scene isn’t working so I can still change course.
But even when I released the box set for my No Shame series, I debated long before including some deleted scenes. In the end, I decided to put them in. Funny enough, the most important reason was because I felt they don’t belong in the original. Well, some of them. Two of the deleted scenes were taken out because I decided to start the fourth book, No Shame, at a different point in the timeline. But I’d already written two scenes when I realized it didn’t work, so those offer truly a behind the scenes view that doesn’t change the original story.
The other two, I still feel I was right to take them out. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both hella sexy and I did use some paragraphs of them later on, but they didn’t really fit the vision for the series.
So why did I decide to include them? Maybe because some readers will feel differently about deleted scenes and will love the extra time with their favorite characters. And maybe because I wanted to show that there are reasons why authors take whole scenes out, even when they’ve spent hours crafting them. It hurts to “throw away” words like that, but there’s usually a good reason.
But now I’m curious how you feel about deleted scenes: yay or nay? Do you love them, hate them, or couldn’t care less?