So much of writing is a wordage game that it always kills me to cut in the first draft. Dammit, Jim! I’m a writer, not a … word-destroyer person…

Anyway, so that hurt, but what ended up happening is that though I cut out an 11000-word sequence, I had always been dubious about it, and as soon as it was pasted into the cut file (always always always keep a cut file) it was like my novel just sort of billowed and filled with air and became light and easy to write again. All that unwieldy ballast was sinking the ship.

Why did I keep going even though I knew that sequence was a wrong turn and had dire pacing consequences? Well, duh. I’m an idiot. (Okay, and also that section was cool. But it just didn’t fit for this novel.)

It took my writers group the Mighty Cryptopolis to set me straight. Now I’m aloft again.






Bobby Duncan · November 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

The problem with most writers is that it’s almost impossible to “operate” on our own writing! The cuts usually need to be made by another. Otherwise, it seems like self-mutilation.

Patrice Sarath · November 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Ha, yeah that is a great way to put it. Another thing I discovered is that for all my years as a copy editor and proofreader? Not so much when it comes to my own work. That was an eye-opening realization.

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