© 2019 by Rebecca Dupont

What with a pandemic facing the world, many people in dire states, being stuck social distancing or just a bit unhappy, I wanted to do a little something to shine a light.

I know many people that were/are fans of 'The War' were sad to see it removed from the internet what with my path to making it a book. So I decided to post a rather large section which I had to remove due to time and over all story. It probably won't stay up forever but for now, I hope it distracts and entertains you for at least a short time!

A Philadelphia Christmas

General George Washington's office spends the Christmas of 1779 at the house of Joseph Reed as well as John Laurens' father, facing debates, criticism and affection between two aides-de-camp.

(I put this one up on my fanfiction page as the story is too long for the 'deleted scenes' on the site here. Enjoy!)

I have posted on some other social media about how I am working now in my third edit of this book. While I love writing about these men and all the interesting history I have learned, not to mention creating my own version of their lives, I am well aware I can go on too long. Too much of a good thing is very real, and anyone can get tired when the book is too long. I have made some strides from the original mammoth that was this book, but the length is still longer than the 'average' of my genre.

Yet, how far does one compromise? Does taking out chapter after chapter and scene after scene end up ruining the heart and feeling of the story itself? How far must one go to appease the 'normal' structure of literature before they threaten their own story and wants? This is what I struggle with. How does one know what is a needed cut, despite how an author may love the scene, and what is too far?

I have removed 13 chapters from my book, most entirely necessary removals that I saw easily enough and, while fun, were not needed for the book. Some, however, were harder. Some I cared about and wanted that portion of the story told. But one must also remember that real, daily life is not the same as a story. Everyone has quite moments, funny anecdotes and stories that are fun to tell; but not every one of these are needed within an over all novel. Novels have a plot, a main conflict with a arch to follow. (At least usually) So fluff must be cut and scene trimmed down. I've removed 47 smaller scenes along with the chapters! So you can tell how much I like to write every little thing. But, in contrast to this, one also wants to be selfish. That chapter that only moves the plot forward a little but is still an amazing story? What if I still want that?

Well, I did that today. A long chapter I had removed, I decided to put back in. It gave the story a needed moment of levity with some difficult portions and more to come after that. If things fall low too often, your reader falls too and their interest wanes. I had cut it before due to length after holding on to it through most of edit 2 but kept coming back thinking about it. After all, my characters deserve levity just as much, do they not?

I could argue this point, how the chapter (which is a long one) helps the flow of the story, the feeling, but in the end, I think it mostly selfish. I want that chapter in, so I am keeping it. I have never thought this project one to gain me profits, quite the reverse. I think it very likely I will have to self publish. So, if I am making this book mostly for myself, and those I know as deeply invested as I, why not be selfish?

I have not put up a blog post in a long time for which I must apologize. Most of this is due to having little to report! I am in the process of sending queries to potential agents. This is the traditional publishing route. I wanted to try this first as any acceptance from an agent and subsequent sale to a publisher would gain my book winder promotion and sale. If that does not work there is still self publishing and I know the people that have followed me and this story's progress will get the book they deserve!

However, since I have nothing else to report, I thought I would share some fun facts I have learned in the course of my researching over the years for this book.

First, for John Laurens: On his crossing to France to become a special minister, his boat hit an iceberg. Fortunately, the boat did not sink. His friend Thomas Paine was on board for the initial crossing and ended up sailing back with Laurens at Laurens' insistence that he did not wish to travel alone. On the return trip, Laurens asked Paine to pick up a pair of shoes for him once in Boston. However, Laurens did not give Paine money for the shoes so Paine was forced to purchase them himself!

For Alexander Hamilton: He was once sent an apple from his friend James Duane in order to give it to General Washington. Supposedly this was a very special type of apple. However, Hamilton lost it before he could give it to the General. Tilghman and Meade found out about all this and tried to convince Hamilton it wasn't anything special but just a crab apple.

And the most random, William Jackson, who was captured with Laurens' in Charleston and become Laurens' secretary in France. Laurens sent Jackson to The Netherlands to organize the supplies for their return trip to American. In The Netherlands Jackson somehow became acquainted with John Adams. Then when the boat with the promised money from France and the Netherlands, Jackson was entrusted with the supervision of John Adams' son Charles Adams.