In my first draft of So Hard to Do, Jannie told her story in first-person/present tense. I thought it suited her audacious personality, and that it was a nice contrast to the more restrained third-person/past tense approach I took with Suze. My beta readers, though, thought it was jarring to switch from one to the other, and eventually I rewrote everything in third-person/past.
Here’s a first-person Jannie sampler from a scene I eventually deleted. Yes, Jannie is behaving obnoxiously, but this was near the story’s beginning, before she became more enlightened. Regardless, I still love her, flawed as she may be.
The Next Chapter – Deleted Scene, originally in Chapter 5
Woohoo, it’s quitting time, and what an awesome day it’s been! I made the big sale to Total Movers, I negotiated a deal with poster-boy Frodo, and this aft I tallied up the commissions I’ll collect at the end of the quarter. Maybe it won’t make me as rich as Daddy Warbucks—yet—but I’m getting there.
As usual, I’m the last one to leave the office. It’s six o’clock, but the place has been as quiet as a graveyard—the boring kind without ghosts or marauding zombies—for the last half hour. My co-workers scamper out just after five, leaving important projects unfinished, making flabby excuses like they have to pick up their kids from daycare or they can’t be late for an appointment with their personal trainer. Or worse, they sneak off without giving any rationale at all. Sales featherweights, that’s what they are.
And speaking of featherweights and flabbiness, I have to confess that I’m getting to be more like the latter than the former. All this sitting at my desk and working harder than any other BB&M employee is having, as Mom might put it, insalubrious consequences on my chic physique. In plain English, my ass is getting bigger. Mother Nature made me pear-shaped, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about being a bit on the hippy side, but lately I seem to be straining seams and popping the occasional button. I’ll shoot someone’s eye out soon if I’m not careful.
Maybe one of these days I’ll have to take action. For now, I zip home in my air-conditioned Mini, roaring past all those pedestrians who are dragging their sweaty bodies along the hot pavement en route to the even steamier subway. How awful. Poor them. Have to wonder why they don’t all get Minis like moi, right?
Mom says she’ll be fine taking public transportation when she gets a job. She’s hardier than I am, no question, and packs a lot of resilience in that skinny bod of hers. I worry about her, though, and—oh, God—I have to go home to an empty, water-damaged condo tonight and try to cope on my own. There’ll be nobody there to share my day with or to give me a hug.
I blink away sudden tears. I can’t get emotional right now. I have to drive.