#StoryEmpire Road Show! Welcome Joan Hall


Good morning, everyone!

What a week this is going to be … myself and a group of five authors, known collectively as STORY EMPIRE, have gotten together and gone on a roadshow. Throughout the week, we will offer book deals and giveaways and prizes. Today, I am delighted to host author Joan Hall 🙂

Take it away, Joan …


Hi everyone! Joan here for this last day of the Story Empire Road Show. Can you believe the week has already passed? I want to thank Harmony for hosting me today.

People often attribute the phrase “kill your darlings” to author Stephen King. He was actually quoting another author, William Faulkner. During the editing process, there are times when writers need to eliminate unnecessary scenes—even entire chapters. Often, we are quite fond of these scenes and don’t want to let go. Hence the phrase, “kill your darlings.”

The following scene is one that I deleted after the first draft of Unseen Motives. By removing this scene from the final draft, I was able to eliminate one point of view character without taking anything from the story.


Angelica Rossi watched the driver load the bags into the trunk of the taxi from her second story window. After her conversation with Jorge the evening before, she had remained in her room. She didn’t intend to come out until he left.

It came as no surprise when he asked her to leave. She’d seen it coming. Jorge had been restless the past few months and she sensed he had grown weary of their relationship.

She was also tired of him. Yes, she lived in a fancy house, wore the finest clothes, and could lounge on the beach all day if she desired. But in many ways, she had felt like a prisoner. They never went out to dinner. Jorge had forbidden her to have any contact with her family and friends. Their only visitor was his “so called” business partner.

The fact she had convinced him to take a cruise came as a surprise. She hoped it was a sign he would begin to socialize more often. However, once they boarded the ship, he spent the entire time in their cabin. He feigneUnseen Motives Thumbnaild illness, but she knew better. It was almost as if he were hiding from someone.

After they returned from the cruise, she contacted her brother Antonio and told him she suspected Jorge was living a secret life. Antonio had connections. He would learn the truth.

Angel waited until Jorge climbed into the back seat of the limo. Business trip, nothing. He was up to something.

She walked outside to the swimming pool, slipped her cell phone from her pocket and pressed the speed dial button for Antonio. “He just left for the airport.”

“Okay, we’re on it. I’ll call you later.”

Angel slipped off her swimsuit cover and walked to the deep end of the pool. It would be an hour or more before he called back. She dove in and swam a few laps before climbing into the adjacent hot tub. The warm water relaxed and soothed her. She would miss this life of leisure, but she had to get away.

Two hours later, her phone rang. “We tracked him at the airport. He boarded a non-stop flight for Atlanta, Georgia with a connecting flight to Dallas, Texas.”

“You’re sure he got on the plane?”

“Positive. The plane departed twenty minutes ago. We’re tracking the flight.”

“Thanks.” She ended the call and went to her room.

After a quick shower, Angel walked downstairs to find the housekeeper, Lucia.

“Lucia, I feel like having something special for dinner tonight. Would you be so kind as to go to the market and pick up a few things?”

“Yes, Miss Angel.”

She handed the list to Lucia and waited until she was gone before entering Jorge’s study. Lucia wouldn’t talk, but Angel didn’t want to place her in a difficult position. Jorge had ways of getting what he wanted and intimidation was one of his tactics.

Not that it mattered if Jorge learned of her snooping. She would be far away when he returned. She sat down at the desk and smiled as she booted up the computer. Jorge would be surprised to know she could easily crack most computer passwords. It didn’t take her long to figure out his.

She wanted to find something that might give her a clue as to his background. His bookmarked sights revealed nothing. But when she looked at his browsing history she found an interesting pattern.

Why would he be so interested in a small Texas town? Antonio said Jorge had a connecting flight to Dallas.

She clicked on several links and came to an online edition of the Driscoll Lake Reporter. He had viewed several recently published articles. Why was he so interested about a twenty-year-old murder case?

After reading the article and viewing photos of the newspaper staff, she knew why he had remained in their room during the cruise.

Her phone rang, and she jumped at the sound. Relieved to see it was her brother calling she answered. “Antonio, I’m glad you called. I’ve found something interesting on Jorge’s computer.”

“You’re searching his computer? He could have some type of alert system.”

“It doesn’t matter. He’ll be away for several days. I’ll be gone before he returns.”

“You can’t wait. Your life may be in danger.”

“I thought by this time he would be half way to America.”

“He is, but you’re not going to like what we’ve found out about him. I’m sending a car for you. They will be there in twenty minutes.”

“I won’t have time to get all my things together.”

“Never mind them. Throw some things in a suitcase and be ready.”


Hard to believe this wraps it up for the Story Empire Road Show. I’ve enjoyed all the tour stops and getting to know you. Unseen Motives is on sale this week for .99. Click here for the purchase link.

Remember, I’m giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card to one winner.

To be entered in the random drawing, please leave a comment below.


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20 Comments on “#StoryEmpire Road Show! Welcome Joan Hall

  1. I am with you, Joan. It’s not easy to part with some POV characters. After all it meant long hours of writing of thinking about the way we push on the action, and so on. It happened with one of my, by now released, books. I had to kill 5 POV characters. I grieved for them but I took my editor’s advice and did it.
    Best of luck with your writing! It was a nice way to find out more about the parents’ of Story Empire.

  2. Hi, Joan!- I’ve got caught up finally! 😉 How could we ignore the advice of two such great authors! 😀 I know I owe my editors fields of flowers for pruning my first drafts! 😉
    Great job of hosting Harmz! 🙂

    • Hi, Jan – thanks for stopping by. Yes a good editor will catch these things. Sometimes we writers want to protest but that pruning makes the final product so much better.

  3. Killing darlings is hard but necessary. That’s why I always have so many deleted scenes to market with when I’m done!

    Great job, Joan. And thanks for hosting her, Harmony.

    • I remember the first time I had to kill a darling. It hurt and I didn’t want to let go. But it made the work stronger in the end. I keep those deleted scenes, however. Never know when they might come in handy.

  4. Wow, that’s a great scene, Joan. I’m sure it was hard to let it go.
    I never knew the “kill your darlings” phrase went back to William Faulkner. Like many, I thought it came from Stephen King.

    Either way it’s hard to do. I trimmed my first published work from 127k to 98k and that was a lot of darlings to kill, but the ebook was definitely stronger for it.

    Great post!

    • Mae, I always thought it was Stephen King, but when researching this post found he referenced Faulkner. After I wrote this I saw where the reference (maybe not the exact term) goes back much earlier.

    • I have to confess that I was more concerned about losing the word count. I found a way to reveal the information without bringing in another POV character. After I cut an entire chapter and a couple scenes, I found several instances where I telling rather than showing. Final word count was almost the same as before I made cuts.

  5. Harmony, I want to thank you for hosting me today. The tour has been fun – hard to believe it’s time to wrap it up. Hope you’ve had great success.

    • Thanks, Joan. It’s great to have you here today! And I wish you every success, too 🙂

  6. Loved this scene Joan! Having read Unseen Motives it’s even more fun 🙂
    I know how hard it is to “kill your darlings”. I just wrote a scene in my WIP that I love but I know I’ll have to delete because it doesn’t add anything to the story.
    You did a great job with this tour!

    • It’s funny, I had a few deleted scenes and one entire chapter. When I edited to “show don’t tell” and revised the necessary components of the deleted scenes to another character’s POV, I ended up with almost the same word count. So glad you’ve enjoyed the tour, Irene. You’ve been a big support to us all.

    • So glad you’ve enjoyed the tour, Irene! And I definitely need to get on and read Unseen Motives! Thanks for stopping by 🙂