kill your darlings I love the internet. It makes it easier to delete scenes from my books because they don’t have to be permanently gone.

I’m deleting the scene below from my WIP. It’s not a bad scene. I kind of like it, actually, because it shows the type of person Rykus is. But I’m not so sure it moves the plot forward any. So, I’m going to cut it.


Dang it, I’m already trying to talk myself into putting it back in the book. Maybe I NEED a scene showing what kind of person Rykus is. This is a snippet from his real job, his normal life, and not from the main plot of the book.

Well, obviously I need to think about this some more. But I’m still posting it here. Because I can. 🙂



“Come in, soldier,” Rykus said.

Henel strode into his office, came to a brisk stop in front of his desk, and saluted again.

“At ease.”

“Requesting permission to speak freely, sir,” the kid said.

“Go ahead, Henel.”

“I know why I’m not on the list, sir.”

“Do you,” Rykus said, his voice monotone, his customary scowl in place.

“Yes, sir. And while I respect what you’re trying to do, sir, it’s wrong. I signed up for the Corps after my father’s death. I know the risk.”

He almost laughed at that. Few people on board the Obsidian knew exactly what they were preparing for. If they did, Rykus would be hearing a hell of a lot less bravado in the corridors. All they knew was that the Fighting Corps was planning for an op important enough for the war chancellor to come on board. Most probably suspected the anomaly in the brig was involved in some way, too, but the rumors circulating about Ash were about as accurate as the council’s shipyard schematic.

“The rest of my bunkmates are on the op, sir.” He blinked when a bead of sweat slid down his nose. “I can’t be the only one who stays behind.”

“Perhaps you’re not on the roster because you’ve been in the Fighting Corps for less than three years and you have zero combat experience.”

Henel opened his mouth, closed it, opened it and made a strangled noise before he shut it again. Obviously, he hadn’t thought about that. If he had, he would have looked at the other names on the roster and known that a good number of men and women were in the same standing as him, fledglings in the Corps.

But Henel was exactly right. Rykus omitted his name from the roster for purely personal reasons. He’d made two promises. The first was to his father above Gaeles Minor, just minutes before their dead ship rammed a Saricean vessel, killing everyone but Rykus. The second was months later, when he’d visited Tressa Henel to tell her that her husband had died bravely.

J. T. was their only child, and Tressa needed him to be safe.

Rykus’s artificial shoulder throbbed with the memory of that catastrophe. He should have died on that op the same as the others, but some fickle twist of fate had not only allowed him to survive, but had turned him into a fucking war hero.

“Sir,” Henel said. “If that’s the case-”

“I’ll put you on the roster, corporal,” Rykus cut him off. “You want combat experience, you’re going to get it.” And I sure as hell hope you live to regret it.

“Thank you, sir. I’ll do my best to-”

“You’re dismissed,” he said.

Henel snapped to attention, saluted, then did an about face and exited Rykus’s office.