Cutting Room Floor for The Goddess Twins

There is quite a bit that was shed from the original manuscript of The Goddess Twins to what has resulted in the published version that’s available today. When I was writing this story, I worked off of an outline, and even from the outline there are things that shifted and changed. I have found that the writing process can be like finding your way through a labyrinth. I am grateful for the opportunities I had in the editing process to realize what was truly impactful to the story and what needed to be cut to make the overall story as intriguing as possible.
The biggest change to my final draft is the intro chapters. I had written the prologue, but at some point in writing, I decided it didn’t work. I had dropped the prologue until my editor had analyzed the book and felt there were questions that needed more clarity around the answers, and I realized, ah, the prologue is actually very useful. So it came back to the novel, at nearly the 11th hour!

Another major change to the beginning of the book is that I originally wrote three chapters that proceeded the current first chapter set at the house party. I had some really fun scenes where Arden and Aurora are studying at a library and confronting their mom before she leaves. I even have readings of these first chapters available online! But I realized that while a fun introduction to the characters, it was taking four chapters to get to the main drama that their mom is missing, and it slowed down the start of the book.

I genuinely felt hurt at the realization that I had to cut those scenes! I had started the book at a library, which was a personal shout out to my lifelong obsession with libraries. I had a really fiery scene with Aurora and her mom yelling at each other! But I had to let them go for the greater good. I knew without those scenes, the reader would be plopped into the main tension and drama, and that’s what I knew would work best in the end. The phrase ‘Kill your Darlings’ helped me with the confidence to make the chop.

So yeah, I had to let go and mourn an entirely different start of the novel, but I am so happy with the final result and feel no regret at making the change! I hope you are all enjoying The Goddess Twins!

Author: Yodassa Williams

Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.