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Deleted Scene- Sword-fighting

Hello, friends!

It feels like it's been way longer than just a week since the last time I posted. I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!

I haven't yet figured out if Thanksgiving is a thing in my world, but in any case, I thought I'd post another deleted scene as a holiday treat. :)


I wrote this back when I was writing Avalon to be Colin's love interest. Even after I changed paths, this scene could have made it into the book, but I decided to let it live on the blog instead for a few reasons.


One: page count. I'm rapidly approaching 100 thousand words (in under a year, I might add!) and I still have a lot to write for this first draft. I know there's no set word limit for debut novels, but I do think that the shorter the draft is, the better.


Two: this is a very character driven scene as opposed to plot-driven. A good deal of my current working draft is character driven, and I'm trying really hard to have a better balance, so some scenes are just going to have to go. Don't worry, though-a lot of them will end up living here instead!


Three: I've been working a lot on showing versus telling. What scenes deserve to be told in detail and what scenes can be replaced with a few well-written sentences? Sarah J. Maas does this really well, and I've been trying to keep her writing in mind as I work on this fantasy novel that was, in part, inspired by her work!



So here's a quick scene I wrote in which Colin teaches Avalon to swordfight and accidentally triggers her firepower. Another reason I took this out was, as fun as it was to write, it's unlikely that Colin would know Avalon for twelve years and never once suspect anything about her and her powers. He's well acquainted with her ability to barbecue him alive (and is rightfully terrified!)




Avalon steps forward, swiping with her dagger. I leap backwards, my temper rising. “Holy effing Gods, are you trying to kill me?”

“No,” she says innocently, reaching for a broadsword. “Just trying to show you I know what I’m doing.”

I draw my own sword, seeing no choice but to defend myself and show her that she absolutely does not know what she’s doing. One particularly well-placed swipe of my sword and her own weapon clatters to the cobblestone. She looks at it, her cheeks flushing with anger and embarrassment.

“Pick it up,” I say sharply. She looks up at me. “What?”


“You want to fight, your highness, we can fight until you know how. But if you’re going to use a sword, you should know how to hold one so I can’t disarm you as easily as I just did. You’re currently more in danger of hurting yourself than you are of hurting me. So pick up the sword.”


I speak with lethal calm, the only way I know how to talk to Avalon when she’s in this poor of a mood. Anthoni and Dallon cease their own sparring, watching the princess and I with cautious amazement. She reaches for the sword and I wait until she has it in her hands before I swing at her again, catching her off guard. She brings her weapon up to defend her face, and my blade lands low on hers. The force of the blow knocks the sword out of her hands again, and she swears quite colorfully. I don’t drop my gaze from hers.

“Pick. It. Up.”

She reaches for her sword, and this time, I lower mine.

“You’re holding it wrong.”

“I am not.”

”I’ve been sword fighting since you were in leading strings,” I snarl. “You’re holding it wrong.”

“Then tell me how to hold it right,” she snaps. I nod. Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Two hands, first of all, not one. You’ve got a broadsword and a damned heavy one at that. If you want to fight with one hand, we can get you a rapier.”

“A rapier? They couldn’t come up with a better name?”

I chew on the inside of my cheek to hold back a chuckle.

“For the record, I agree with you, but it doesn’t negate the fact. One hand or two?”

“Which one do you recommend?”


This surprises me. I sheath my sword, taking in her slight figure.

“For you? Honestly, a rapier. It’s lighter and with your shit balance-“

“Excuse me-“

With your shit balance, something lighter will be easier to handle, especially with one hand,” I continue, reaching for the rapiers that Anthoni has brought over without me asking. He gives me a slightly terrified look- nothing scares my best friend as much as arguing with royalty does, but I’ve done it so much since becoming Avalon’s appointed bodyguard that I couldn’t care less about the insults she tosses my way.


“Why are you trading out your sword,” she asks as I hand her her new weapon. I grin devilishly. “Because this was already an unfair fight.”

And I swing again, meeting her sword with sharp impact that sends her stumbling back several feet. “Use your core,” I instruct, lowering my sword again to demonstrate. “Knees apart, legs bent.”



She mirrors my posture, then frowns. “I feel more off balance this way.”

“Imagine you’re a tree,” calls Dallon from the other side of the training ring.

The princess ignores him. “I want the big sword back. I can’t reach you with this.”

I can’t stop my chuckle. “Well you’re going to have to actually move to hit me, princess.”

She leaps forward, swinging with her sword, and I knock it to the dirt without blinking.

“A rapier is for thrusting. You’re not going to hit me if you swing it.”

She growls, frustrated. “Stop knocking my sword out of my hand!”

“Stop holding it so loosely and doing things you’re not supposed to do,” I counter. “We can train you multiple ways but fighting the wrong way with a rapier is going to make me defend myself, which might hurt you, and I’m not going to do that on purpose.”


“Why would I imagine that I’m a tree,” she asks, spinning to look at Dallon and Anthoni. Dallon hops off the fence, walking over to us. “I imagine I’m a tree, rooted in the ground. It helps me stand right, and it’s just a mental thing, but it also keeps me balanced. I’m less likely to fall if I get hit too hard.”


He beckons to Anthoni, who cautiously hops off the wall and ambles over to us. “Combo number six,” he offers casually, and Dallon lunges with his sword. Anthoni swears, parrying his blade so that he doesn’t get impaled. They are a whirlwind of swords and impressive swearing, sweat dripping off of their faces into the swirling arena dirt. Eventually both of them drop their swords, laughing slightly as they fall into hand to hand combat, punching and kicking at each other. I clear my throat after a moment of watching them pummel each other.

“Yes, thank you, guys-thank you, guys,” I say, loud enough that they freeze staring at me. I fold my arms, giving them a pointed look. “You’re dismissed.”

Wiping blood from his lip, Dallon turns to Anthoni. “Lunch?”

“Lunch,” Anthoni agrees cheerfully and they both turn to leave the arena.


Avalon nods slowly. “Thank you.”

She then turns back to me. “If you gave me advice like that, maybe my sword would spend less time on the ground, General.

She spits my title like it’s an insult, and I grit my teeth, refusing to be pushed to the temperament I sometimes get with my men, where it’s all swearing and gnashing teeth and throwing my opponents into the dirt. That wouldn’t do in this scenario.

“Avalon, I’m not sure what your deal is today, but you need to take a minute, because you’re my friend and you’re acting like you’re not.”


“Fuck off,” she snaps, and I lose my own temper. “Fine. We’ll continue this lesson when you’ve decided to stop acting like a spoiled little brat.”

I start walking out of the arena when the air pulses and hums.

I whirl around in time to see Avalon’s hidden power punch out like claws, sending me flying across the arena.


I hit the dirt already swearing. “Whatthehellyoucould’vekilledme!”

“I will the next time you say something like that,” she snarls. I stumble to my feet as the knowledge hits me harder than Avalon’s magic just did. “You have powers. Like your sister. You and your sister both have powers,” I gasp stupidly, snatching my sword from the dirt.

“Say it louder,” she snaps. “I don’t think Onyx Calaro can hear you from hell.”

My sword is about as useful as a toothpick against her magic. I look around for Anthoni and Dallon, hissing out another curse when I realize that my backup has fucked off promptly. Great.

Avalon flicks her wrist again and a wave of magic hits me so hard I nearly flip as I hit the ground again, landing hard on my shoulder. “What the hell,” I yell, leaping to my feet and aiming my sword at her throat, daring her to come closer. “This isn’t a fair fight, Avalon. I don’t have magic.”

“That,” she snarls, summoning a ball of fire to her palm, “is what I’ve been trying to say to you this whole freaking time. But you continue to treat me like I’m an inferior, you useless, magic-less-

“Avalon.”

We both freeze, turning to look at King Andreu, who is standing, his arms crossed, at the entrance to the sword fighting arena. I quickly lower my sword from it’s angle at her throat. “Your Majesty, I’m so sorry,” I say quickly, knowing that I’ve crossed so many lines in the last two minutes alone. “Her powers knocked me over, I should have let her push me around, I didn’t mean to react-“

“General Tanner, you were reacting the way you were taught to react when someone provokes you,” the king says calmly. “However, I would kindly like you to refrain from aiming your sword at my daughter’s throat unless she truly deserves it. Avalon,” he says, turning to his daughter, “Come with me. Now.

His tone leaves no room for argument.

Her glare at me is so sharp it could cut the tension in the arena like butter. I glare right back- she doesn’t frighten me; her father does. I sheath my sword and dust arena dirt off my shoulder, which wails in pain- I landed on it hard when she sent me flying.

As soon as she leaves, my cowardly companions slip back into the arena, stealthy as snakes. “Dude,” breathes Dallon, wide-eyed. “What the hell was that?”

“She has powers too,” Anthoni murmurs. “Holy shit-“

“We’re not talking about this,” I hiss. “It’s clearly a well-guarded secret. It doesn’t leave this room, understood?”

“Really,” Dallon asks, eyebrows raised. “You’re not going to spill her secret, even though she just put you on your ass multiple times?”

“Correct,” I snap. “If the princess of Segretti has information she does not want revealed, then I am duty-bound to the kingdom to keep my mouth shut, and so are you. And if you say ‘multiple times’ again, I’ll put you on your ass.”

He outs his hands up in defense, backing up slightly. “Sorry, brother. I’m just saying-“

“Stop saying,” Anthoni says, a hard edge in his voice. I know he’s thinking about Azalea, about how she has a secret too. I rub my hands over my face. “Come on.”

I leave the arena without a second glance.

Petricore on Pinterest is my muse for Avalon- she's so gorgeous! She takes lots of Avalon-esque pictures, and her hair is just how I imagine Avalon's!

So, what do you guys think? I love putting these scenes on my blog because it lets me cryogenically freeze them, in a way. It also gives you guys an opportunity to interact with my writing before it ever sees the world!


I'll see you next week- I'll post my book reviews for November and lead us into the last month of this year!


Xoxox- Emmabird


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nanceegoldstein
nanceegoldstein
Nov 28, 2022

You have created wonderful worlds, Emma.

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