J. L. Willow

Author ~ Blogger ~ Storyteller

Right away, I want to state that this blog post contains SPOILERS for The Scavenger, so if you have yet to read it, don’t go on! I promise you won’t be disappointed 😉

Well, you already know from the title that this post is going to be about deleted scenes. If I was going to include every word that I deleted from the book before I published it, I would not be able to fit it into one page. As such, I’m only going to be including the major scenes that didn’t make it into the final product. I’ll also be including a little description of each to show why it wasn’t included.

Please don’t judge if this writing isn’t the smoothest. These scenes were not fully edited — I just cut them and pasted them here!


I watched Victor put out his hands, spreading them so the stained fingers splayed in every direction. “I like to imagine our networks as spiderwebs. You and I, we’re at the middle of our individual webs. We pull the strings and watch the insects trapped inside dance. Like it or not, all our webs are connected in one way or another. If one of them crashes, it’s not long before others start falling too.”

Cut May 29, 2017

I really loved this moment between Victor and Frank. It was a good representation of how the dealers see themselves, akin to gods in the blocks of the city that they control. After a few rounds of editing, I started to realize that this was a bit too out-there and artsy for Victor to say and didn’t really make sense for his character. One of the original titles that The Scavenger held was actually ‘The Webs That Bind the City,’ meaning that I had to choose a new title once this scene was cut. It ended up being a good decision, as The Scavenger is (in my opinion) a much better title.


“Oh.” Eve brushed aside a piece of hair from in front of her face. Now that we were closer, I could see her cheeks held a constant blush courtesy of a light sunburn. “It was pretty small, but there weren’t many of us. The beach was gorgeous! We swam all day and went to a bar at night. The owner was really nice and let us have a small drink or two as long as we had a designated driver. He was French and said it was legal in Europe, so it was okay as long as we had supervision.” Eve started searching in her pockets. “I was the only one who wouldn’t drink, which made me the designated driver. They called me Miss DD. As a thank-you, look at what they gave me!” Victorious, she fanned five Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards in front of me. “Get it? DD?”

Cut August 1, 2017

This was another moment that I absolutely loved but eventually had to get cut. For a long time, I considering having the story take place at a college, or at least make Catherine and Eve juniors in high school. It became clear pretty quickly that to make Catherine’s relationship with Samuel more realistic, I needed to make her younger than he was so she would be more likely to stick it out with him when things went wrong. Once I decided to make them younger, it didn’t really make sense anymore for Eve to talk about designated driving.


Frank had let me borrow his car after I explained my plan for it. The model was moderately old, but in good condition. The outside was a sleek black with a leather interior. It was one of the many perks from being in our line of work.

Catherine ran her hand along the armrest, unaccustomed to its texture. “I hope you’re right. I really need to do well on this exam.”

“You know the chapter better than I do.”

She glanced around. “Sorry if I seem a bit distracted. It’s just kind of weird being in a car again. I’ve only been in a taxi a few times.”

“It’s my parent’s car,” I replied before consciously relaxing my grip on the steering wheel. I had a tendency to grip it too tightly. “Nothing too special about it.”

“It’s still a car, which is more than I have.”

Cut August 11, 2017

At first, you might be a little confused as to why I cut this scene. Originally, Samuel drove Catherine to Weehawken in Frank’s car instead of taking a bus. There’s nothing wrong with having a scene with them on the way to Weehawken, but I started to realize that Frank would not take to Samuel using his car lightly. He would only ask to use it on a special occasion (like prom), not for a date night. As such, I decided to have Samuel walk or use public transportation on all his other dates with Catherine.


I couldn’t take my eyes off the smoking thing in his hand. My hands were separate from my body as they reached out to take it. A strangely sweet and unfamiliar scent floated to my nostrils. It helped Samuel relax and I did feel a little nervous. Wasn’t it just the other day Eve was telling me to stop being so uptight? Maybe this could help a bit.

“Don’t you trust me, Catherine?” Samuel’s voice echoed from what seemed like miles away.

I was moving through molasses as I nodded my head. Holding the thing up to my face, I kissed the end and slowly breathed in.

Cut April 7, 2017

I know, be shocked all you want, but originally Catherine did take the Usher. This was immediately shot down by my Beta Readers when it made them turn against the character and drastically decreased how much they related with her. Having her stand up against Samuel showed that her character did have limits and that she wouldn’t just get dragged along with whatever her boyfriend told her to. This ended up being the deciding factor to rewrite this scene and have her say no. Catherine was one of the hardest characters to write, which is pretty surprising, since most people assume she’s the one I can relate to the most. I might do another blog post later in discussing her character development a bit more.


And that’s all I have for today! I had a hard time cutting some of these scenes, but in the end, I know it was the right decision.

What do you think about the scenes that I cut? Did any of them surprise you? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks again for all your help in making The Scavenger the best it can be 🙂

— J. L. Willow

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