The Other Discovery Draft I’m Keeping

It’s way too short, it’s missing a lot of information, and it ends abruptly (Discovery Draft!) but this one stays, too, with much rewriting in it’s future.  There’s the scene in the apartment with Lily, then the non-scene with the marriage chat, and then Nita goes to work and this stuff happens.  Can I get some agreement now that marriage chat has to go because nothing happens in it?  Thank you.


When Nita had gone to work, Nick sat down at the table, exhausted. 

Well, not exhausted.  You’re dead.  Just overworked.

He let his façade drop to conserve energy, pushed away the last of the food cartons, and pulled out the three records he was most interested in.

Rab came through the door and screamed.

“What?” he said, and Rab turned away his hand over his eyes.

“Façade!”  Rab said. “Façade!”

Nick put up his façade again.  “Fine.  Façade. You’ve seen me as a skeleton before. What’s wrong with you?”

Rab looked at him cautiously and then came into the room. “Dude, you are changing.”

“Dude?” Nick said.

“Sorry, archaic slang.”  Rab stole another look at him  and shuddered.  


“You have juicy parts,” Rab said.  “Like . . . organs.”

“Organs.  No.” Nick got up and went into the kitchen and yanked open drawers in the new cabinets until he found the knives. 

He pulled out a knife and stabbed himself in the arm.


“No blood,” he said, showing his arm to Rab. 

I know what I saw,” Rab said.  “Do notdrop that façade around Nita.  Or me.  Or anybody.  And stop stabbing yourself, that’s going to lead to tears.”

“Rab, I’m dead,” Nick said, but Rab was still talking.

“Bad flashbacks to beginning human anatomy class.  They had these pictures on acetate that started with the skeleton and then did the organs and then did the vascular system and then did the muscles–”


“You’re on the organ acetate,” Rab said.  “There was a lot of pink . . . things . . . attached . . .”


“Your skull is pretty much the same except you have eyes.” Rab shuddered, looking away.  “You know, it’s gonna take me awhile to forget that.”

“Get me a mirror,” Nick said.  “Big enough that I can see my body.”

“There’s one in the basement,” Rab said.  “I’ll send Jeo up with it.”


“I’m gonna need some time,” Rab said and left.

Anatomy Of Human Body Organs Male Human Body Male Anatomy Anatomy Of Human Body Organs Male Anatomy Of – Anatomy Of Diagram

46 thoughts on “The Other Discovery Draft I’m Keeping

  1. Just a note, “dude” is still in use. There’s debate over it (whether it genders people, essentially), but I overhear it at least once a month. It is sometimes used kind of ironically. Like, “Dude, I know” when your friend tells you that your forehead pimple is really obvious.

      1. I believe I’ve heard dude from nieces’ friends. And they’re 18.

        Don’t go by my usage – I still let icebox slip every once in a while.

      2. I have teens–18yo boy and 15yo girl–and they both use it excessively with their friends. Gender doesn’t seem to matter, either. My daughter has used it on her best female friend. Heck, she’s even duded ME!

        It should be just fine here.

    1. But it’s a very guy remark, and even the young guys think back to The Big Lebowski if not all the way back to the Beach Boys.

      Strange, thinking of going back . . .

      I’m using the arghink email notice to get to this entry. It wasn’t posted when I went onto the site. And now it has made me sign in.

    2. In California, it is not gendered, and employed quite frequently. Intonationis everything. Dude! Dude. Dude?

    3. I used to work with an australian and he said “Morning dude” to me (and everyone else) every day. Definitely non-gendered to some people now, on a par with saying “Morning guys”.

  2. That is not a male body. If you draw straight lines from the outside of the shoulders to the outside of the upper thighs, they are essentially parallel: ergo, female body shape. Women’s torsos are squarish, Men’s torsos are triangular. Basic life sculpture 101 on how to show sexuality of form. Plus there are other indicators but that is the most obvious one.

    1. I searched for “male anatomy” and the text with that image said it was male. I did wonder, but I figure it’s an illustration of organs for the blog, not a portrait of Nick in the book, so I’m not obsessing over it. I’m up to my ass in alligators here and blog illustrations are WAY down my list of things to research in depth.

  3. I really needed that today.
    But I’m still wistful about a dead man saying he can stand up to homicidal inlaws.

  4. Well, alligators mean an epic post on here with the rundown of why there’s an alligator infestation. Good luck with them.

    I like this scene. It passes for moving plot forward with funny talky bits.

  5. Haven’t read the draft yet, so later for that comment.

    You do not have my agreement on tossing the marriage scene. For me, the distant, uninvested way they discuss the subject shows much of their character and where they are in the story.
    Just sayin’, dude.

    1. Dude, there is no conflict there. Nothing happens. “Look at this relationship” is not a scene. It can be PART of a scene, but it cannot be a scene alone, according to the Crusie Theory of Fiction (CTF).

      1. As a nonwriter who reads a lot, to me it feels like their relationship develops (Nick turns to marriage when he could just give her the money, which could be revealing of his subconscious; Nita gets the first idea that he might be thinking of her that way.)
        But I’m a nonwriter (well, nonfiction writer–I’m writing lots at work) who also hasn’t read the scenes before or after or know where the plot is going.

        1. Eh, readers are better critics than writers, usually. But he does tell her why he can’t just give her the money.

    1. And until your comment I did not read that as tears as in crying – I read that as tears as in slitting parts open…

  6. I do observe that scene moved the characters and complication forward. Also, it’s lovely and funny. Want more.

    In other news, you can’t walk ten feet in my town without overhearing someone say the word “dude.” I assure you usage still much in currency. And isn’t the book set in 2008? or something. Perhaps I’m misremembering.

  7. That was fun, don’t worry about the “Dude”, just have Rab mention watching Pointbreak or Bill & Ted,

  8. It’s Rab’s bit about the pink stuff, especially when the anatomical person is attached. Reminds me of describing Oklahoma as yellow and Colorado as green because that’s how they appeared on maps.

  9. If you have to cut the marriage conversation, you have to cut it. Much as I enjoyed it, it sounds like it’s just going to sidetrack things.

    1. Slung between these two, not enough happens in it (nothing happens in it) to justify it. The fact that I can drop the marriage scene from the story and nothing happens to the plot or character arc pretty much tells the tale.

  10. If we disagree, will you keep posting scenes? If so, I disagree.

    I love the mental image of Nick as the organ acetate. And the skull with eyes. Ewwww. He did seem awfully calm about having organs again though.

    1. He doesn’t really believe it yet. That’s why he asked for the mirror. Plus he’s still coming back from dead/no emotion. It’s going to get worse, though, and he’s not going to be calm about it. The other thing is, he has work to do, so his personal problems get moved down the list of Things To Fix.

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed that, but must admit that your snappy dialogue is the yardstick by which I judge all others.

    Dude is in use here also, but then this is a snow town. How about Bro? My daughters refer to half the world as Fam, but that’s so 2018. Mate is altogether too Australian for your purposes and I’m out if alternatives (it’s late, I’ve no brain and there’s a music festival at the bottom of the street and bits of my house are vibrating, not conducive to thought).

    You’ll find a better way to do the marriage scene.

  12. I wonder if people are confusing a proposal of marriage — usually a huge deal in genre romance! — with something happening? *Because* it is usually a huge deal, it may feel to test readers as if it has more weight than it does, so people feel attached to it?

    I had an odd moment reading this on “human anatomy class” where I started wondering way too much about demon anatomy, the differences between them, and how the whole life and death and having children works with Hell etc. If they can reproduce with humans, which they clearly can, how different can their anatomy be, in terms of needing to take a whole course in human anatomy? Pulled me right away from the text. I’d suggest you may want either more or less science there.

    1. My theory is that they’re the same species, just different branches, so the anatomy would be basically the same (chlorophyll in the blood instead of iron, etc). But I can definitely take out “human.”

      I agree: marriage has such strong connotations for romance that the whole idea has to go; it’s not a romantic proposal at all, it’s clearly business, but it’s knocking too many people off the story.

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