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Happy Veterans Day/Remembrance Day. Thank you to all who have served or are serving.

As I’m editing book two today, I started thinking about how I’d written it. This is probably the third or fourth time now that I’ve gone over it. I’ve gone over it for content before, for word count, and now I’m doing it for both. But I found myself questioning some of my favorite scenes. I wondered if they were too silly. Was it too much filler? Did I really need it?

I’m no expert at self-editing, but the reading I’ve done on self-editing, and watching my fellow writers on other websites, has given me some great tools. I have deleted scenes I loved because they didn’t advance the plot. I just did a minor re-wording of a scene because after a little research, my first idea would be impossible.

I think as writers we get attached to things. Those things might be scenes, words, sentences, what have you and we hate to part with them. But in order to make our books better and our stories pop, we have to part with our babies. I have a document called “trash” and all my favorite deleted scenes go there. I also try to keep an original draft of the book in case I want something later. But I’ve had to learn to part with my favorites from time to time.

What about you, readers? Is it hard to part with favorites in your books? Do you keep a “trash” document just in case?

One Comment

  1. I keep every deleted scene I’ve ever written in a folder of its own. I have a weird hang-up about deleting anything for good. I feel like I’ll accidentally get rid of something I desperately need. haha.

    But, having said that, I’ve gotten really good at killing my darlings. It was REALLY hard at first, but the longer I’ve been writing, the easier it gets. Plus, I always console myself that, when the book is published and I have fans, I’ll have all my favorite deleted scenes on some kind of extras page on my website. 😉

    I had this one scene, in particular, in my first book. It may not have “advanced the plot” but it was one of my favorite scenes. (On the one in a bazillion chance that you are wondering, I will share that it was this really cute scene where the main guy–Jess–and the main girl–Cacee–are playing and he ends up tossing her into a mud-puddle, at which point she grabs his ankles, yanks him into the puddle with her, and dumps mud on top of his head. )

    But then I rewrote and ALL this stuff was changing, and I kept desperately trying to hang onto this ONE scene. I kept swearing that everything could go but that mud puddle scene. In the end, the book changed so much that they never ended up anywhere near a mud puddle. haha. So out it went. And I was sad. But, the book (on the whole) is so much better than it originally was that it ended up being worth it. It was a really good lesson to learn.

    ButI still hope to put the scene in some eventual book. haha.

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