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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cutting Till It Hurts

So far, most of my revisions consist of cutting. I'm pretty good about doing this. I write long, and I'm used to it. There hasn't been a book I've written yet where I haven't cut a fair amount of pages out of it. Last night, though, I made a cut that had a little whimper escape.

I'd already gone through chapter one, saw it, knew it was unnecessary, but I liked it. A lot. I decided I'd leave it in. After all, I'd already cut 10% of the chapter, surely I could keep a few paragraphs just for me?

I guess not since one of my critique partners got back to me immediately and said my changes were good, but I should cut this one section. :-( I knew she was right, but I still fought the need to do it. I worked on chapter 2, cut one of the scenes there up pretty good. Had no trouble doing that at all, although I'm not sure if I cut enough. I need to reread it.

Finally, last night, I opened chapter 1, scrolled to that spot, highlighted it and hit the delete key. I smoothed the transition between the dialogue, and what I cut won't be missed at all. Except by me. I still like it. But it isn't really necessary. And it does slow down the scene with needless internal monologue. So it's gone. I know there's one spot a couple of chapters later that ties into the phrasing of something Kendall thinks in that scene, so I'll have to adjust that, but that's about the only impact its absence has.

Writing is not for sissies. ;-)