Book Editing: How to know when to cut a scene.

I want to talk to you all about something near and dear to my heart today. You see, I’ve been quiet lately because I’ve been working on putting real effort into writing a book that I’ll be proud to have you all read. (Read that as: I’ve been curled in the fetal position screaming about rampaging dinosaurs and watching cartoons.) I’ve been doing things like writing character backgrounds and describing places. You know… the hard work of writing… even the extremely dreaded, “Building a coherent plot.” Shocking!

So, while I’ve been making list after list of scenes to go in the book and writing some short summaries, I’ve added and cut some stuff.

It all fits together pretty good, and I suppose it wouldn’t be unfair to say this is draft 1ish. Maybe a alpha draft. If every scene in my book could be made up entirely of 1-2 paragraphs, then I’d have most of a book written by now. You know, the basics.

So, I was working through some things in my head today when a scene crept in and wouldn’t get out.

Now, I’m not going to put this scene into the book. It doesn’t make sense with the plot. It doesn’t fit the theme I’m creating. But most importantly, it just stretches the bounds of reality even farther than I feel comfortable with. (And I am adamantly convinced that Nature created animals for the sole purpose of murdering us as a species and that the president had the NSA use me to Google his porn.)

And that brings me to why I’m writing this today (besides a much needed pop up in the cyber worlds), explaining:


Now, I know that it might almost seem like a cliché at this point, but really, this image popped into my head earlier and I could not get it to go away. I’m not even sure what provoked it. I’m not on any of the fun kind of drugs. I just had a sudden, overwhelming imaginary mind flare that forced me to think one distinct thought, “Could Ant-man grow to 30 stories and pee out a fire?”

So, like the good creative genius that I am, I decided that I would have to research the answer.

So, I googled the phrase, “How many fluid ounces does a person pee?”

I don’t suggest you google that yourself unless your safe search is very, very turned on. Seriously, it’s about on par with “Male butt padding.” Just don’t google it.

I did manage to find a decent answer though… eventually… after many mental scars.

The average adult human’s bladder can hold sixteen ounces. That’s about 2 cups (1/2 a quart, 1/8 of a gallon for the mathematically needy, or  473.18 ml for everyone that has advanced their society to the metric system.)

You might be asking yourself, “What does that have to do with the circumference of Optimus Prime’s middle finger?” Well, see, it makes all the difference. If we assume that the average man is 6’ tall, I know it’s not a safe assumption but I’m lazy and it fits the math easier, and he grows to being 30 stories, then he has gotten SIXTY times bigger than he was before.

This of course is basing the math as being particularly basic calculations of mass expansion.

If we assume that the fluid in Ant-man’s bladder also gets 60 bigger (an extremely bad assumption) then that 16 oz. becomes 7.5 Gallons (28.4 Liters).

Now, I’ve witnessed a house fire first hand. I’ve seen how much water it takes to up out even a little one contained to the garage. It’s a metric butt ton.

For comparison’s sake, the average garden hose has an output of 10 gallons per minute. So, Ant-man’s fire-fighting urination would be less than that before being tapped out.

There is simply no way that the average person would be able to contain enough urine to put out a house fire by growing to 30 stories tall.




At least Aqua-man could summon some dolphins to spit water on the fire until it went out. You’d just fill the area with some stinky steam.


This also gives us one fewer reason to be afraid of Kaiju… or Goldar… and explains why I’ve never seen Godzilla utilize this particular method.


Although… Godzilla is a dragon… his bladder might be much bigger (comparatively) to a human’s.



The world may never know.