I love fluff. Agents, Publishers and Readers, not so much. So what to do with all the filler that really lets me get to know my characters? Obviously, I haven't written every second from day one to the finale (I could!), but there's a lot of "extra". I have about 22,000 words that I cut (those are only the ones I put into the WIP in the first place--I have something like 10,000 more that are stand alone scenes). And I could write more. A lot more. Granted, I have two more books to go, but this is stuff from now.

It's the stuff that helped me get to know Jake and Kasia (and Klara, Handel, the band, etc.). Without it, I wouldn't have known why Kasia reacted so strongly to certain things. Or why Jake fell in love with Kasia so easily, and so soon. But, for a typical reader, it would just spell boredom. There's no action, no tension. And, let's face it, every scene needs some tension to keep a reader involved. Neither do these fluff scenes provide forward movement or backstory. They simply aren't necessary. Except to me.

So, in spirit of fluff, here's Jake and Kasia after a Very Important Breakthough. This particular scene helped me to understand Kasia's true feelings on what had taken place the previous night. Because, to Jake, she maintained he was wrong and she was fine. Inside, she apparently knew better. I never would have known if this hadn't happened.


I snuggled onto the love seat across from him, watching the peaceful movements of his shallow breath. The rising sun peeked through the window and danced on the honey highlights in his dark hair. That lean body stretched the length of the couch. His face, as he slept, held a childlike innocence that matched his personality without fail.

Jake was a rare man who wore his heart on his sleeve. And last night he had, in no uncertain terms, offered it up as mine for the taking.

The coffee percolated, scent of hazelnut swirled through my senses. I closed my eyes recalling the previous evening, his gentle ways and sweet sacrifice. But, he'd been right. When he had taken me into his lap and shown me the difference, I not only felt it, but fear had crept in. He knew me well already. Too well, maybe.

“Thanks for covering up this time,” he said groggily. He stretched, legs going well over the edge of the sofa, then sat up and pulled the same throw pillow over his lap. “It didn’t help.”

“I’m sorry." I held back a giggle. "It seems your little arrangement will be much more painful for you than me.”

A low growl escaped his throat. "Pretty sure it'll be worth every ounce of torture." As usual, before I could respond he hopped to a new subject. "Coffee. And breakfast. You are gonna make me breakfast, right?" He knew full well how to use those boyish looks and that devilishly charming smile.

Knowing this didn't stop me from being able to resist either. "Yes." I inwardly rolled my eyes at allowing him to get away with such behavior.

"I need to use the bathroom," he glanced to the pillow on his lap, "or at least try."

I made no move to head for the kitchen. "Go ahead."

His shirt and jeans were draped across the arm of the loveseat in which I sat, he wore only his boxer-briefs under the blanket—and pillow.

"C'mon." He waved his hand toward the kitchen.

"We've already established that you're a morning person. No reason to try and hide it now." This time I had to bite on the inside of my cheeks to keep from laughing.

His mouth opened and closed twice in lieu of response and a crimson stain spread up his neck and into his cheeks. I loved to make him blush, it annoyed him that he couldn't do the same to me.

"Prosze?" That innocent boyish look again.

How could I resist a man who learned a few Polish words just to impress me? And he had used manners… I stood, making my way to the kitchen, and busied myself in the refrigerator.

The biggest trick is to allow readers to see all of this inner feeling without having to use this scene. Better go make sure I did...


Piedmont Writer said...

This was FANTASTIC!!! And without Fluff, where would we be as writers? I'm sure even the most famous have scads of the stuff floating in closets and boxes.

We can't even begin to know who are characters are until we write the stuff that makes them.

Tara said...

Thanks for joining in, Anne. And for the compliment. Feel free to browse. I haven't set any danishes out, I was afraid by what happened over at your place ;)

Piedmont Writer said...

I'm still laughing over the danish crack.

I browsed pretty much all morning but didn't comment on most. You're a pretty terrific writer, thinker, idea maker. We should get together for coffee sometime. Real, not imaginary. I'm over in King, near Winston. Let me know, if and when the kids go back to school.

Tara said...

Thanks again :) I have lots of snips in my FB link, too if you want to browse.

I'm hedging my bets on the kids never going back to school. I live in K-Vegas. I don't know Winston well--I head to Greensboro to do my 'things', but I'm sure there's coffee joints over that way, eh?