It’s totally true that authors have to cut certain scenes or chapters in order to make a book’s plot tighter or more concise. Happens all the time! In which case, if they’re publishable, you should definitely use them in other ways, like a newsletter exclusive or on social media.
SO, I thought I’d share it here on my blog with you 🙂 This was actually my original first chapter from Heroes of Arcania: Fortune’s Favor, which takes place immediately after the cliffhanger in the first book. (I eventually cut it due to the story being told from 2 perspectives, and this, while entertaining, would’ve distracted from the POV).
In this short snippet from the second book in the trilogy, Henry Wheeler, Nova’s best friend and the high school’s nosiest newspaper reporter, was kidnapped from the big Homecoming dance…by none other than Fortune himself. Read on to learn a bit more about what he endured while hoping and waiting for the #HoA to rescue him!
DELETED SCENE FROM HEROES OF ARCANIA: FORTUNE’S FAVOR
The tall man eyed his captive in the chair. The teenage boy had resisted, forcing his men to knock him out and duct tape his wrists and ankles to the wooden seat. The kid was finally coming to, and had the good sense to look scared.
The boy looked up at him through the cracked glasses on the brim of his nose. Blood trickled down one side of his face. His split bottom lip was thanks to a man’s backhand.
“Wheeler,” the captor said, drawing out the boy’s last name with delight.
Henry Wheeler looked up at his kidnapper, fear coursing through him. He fought the urge to look around, making out a warehouse of some kind in his peripheral. That meant he was on the far east side of the city. Why had Fortune, the city’s notorious villain, brought him here? The last thing Henry remembered was the school dance. He, his best friend Nova, and her new boyfriend Cole had been laughing, having a good time when someone screamed. Chaos ensued and men had come for Henry, seizing him upon first sight. They’d thrown a bag over his head, ignored his thrashing and shouting, and finally knocked him out before loading him into a vehicle.
“Do you know why you’re here?” Fortune asked.
Henry’s brown hair fell into his eyes when he frantically shook his head. “N-no, I don’t.”
Fortune’s upper lip curled back. He came in closer to the boy, his words slithering into the teen’s ear. “You’re here because you’re investigating me. You’re foolish enough to believe you can find something on me.”
A cold ball of fear formed in Henry’s stomach as he considered the situation. Fortune knew he’d been following the cases, the bank robberies. Henry knew what Fortune was capable of, how he murdered people – even children – in cold blood, for no reason other than because he enjoyed it. Henry desperately did not want to be next.
When Henry remained quiet, Fortune frowned. He ticked his head to one of his men, who held out a backpack. Henry glanced up, shock crossing his face when he realized it was his bag. As in, the bag he’d left in his bedroom.
“You were in my house?” Henry asked without thinking. He didn’t recognize his own trembling voice.
The corner of Fortune’s mouth pulled up. “Yes, I know where you live, Henry Wheeler. I know who your parents are, too.”
The blood drained from Henry’s face and Fortune nodded. “That’s right. You know how much trouble you’re in. Now tell me everything or I’ll leave your body on your mother’s doorstep.”
Henry shook his head again. “I don’t know anything. I mean, nothing besides what you already found in my bag.”
“I think you’re lying,” Fortune said, his underlying tone murderous.
“I’m not,” Henry said, thinking quickly, “I’m just a high school newspaper reporter.”
“Who visited the DMV and the city courthouse scouring records, in hopes of discovering my identity I assume.”
Henry gulped. Fortune was watching him? That couldn’t be good. “I don’t know anything about you other than what everyone already knows. What else do you want from me?”
Fortune put a hand eye-level to Henry’s face. After a second, Henry swore sparks spit in Fortune’s palm. A blue electric current crackled off his hand, lightning bolts peaking off his fingertips. A ball of blue energy gathered in his palm, reflecting off Henry’s cracked glasses. Fortune’s smile did nothing to quell the ice-cold fear in Henry’s belly. He leaned in, making sure the boy’s cheeks felt the heat off his gift.
“Tell me what you know about your so-called Heroes of Arcania.”