I’m very talented at that–writing scenes that I can’t use, or that turn out to be “too much”. I suspect it’s because I very often start by creating the characters instead of the plot, and as a result, I end up writing bits of scenes and chapters in the spur of the moment, only to realize later on that they don’t fit the general plan.
Truth be told, I’m calling them “useless” just because of this, because I spent time on something that doesn’t further the novel’s story itself. In a way, they are useful, since they allow me to develop the characters, to explore heir personalities, to set up events to react to, and this always turns to be a positive point when it comes to writing the “real” chapters. Thanks to the insight they help me get regarding my heroes, antagonists and even secondary characters, I can’t say that I’ve ever wasted time on working on such scenes. They also remain unedited, by the way; I don’t go around reading and rewriting half-chapters that aren’t placed within the flow of the plot yet. On this, at least, I don’t waste time.
I have a bunch of such scenes for my next project, the one which I’ve built a whole world for, and now need to shorten the plot. They’re scenes that I like, sometimes strong in feelings, sometimes presenting an interesting event. I know I can’t keep them all, though, else my first volume only would either be 300,000 words long or separated in two or three books, and this is definitely too much (no, don’t count on me to pull a Jordan here; I said this would be a trilogy, and I’m going to stick to it). Albeit necessary, getting rid of them can be painful; this said, I just can’t stop writing such bits at times. This would be part of the need to simply write and work on world-building, I think.
There’s no way I can be the only author in this world to do this. Out of curiosity, who else has this tendency to craft scenes that end up not being used (whether they have a writing plan beforehand or not)?