But there's one thing I'd already learned in the past that I've had to employ yet again this time around: Be willing to cut. In my writing career there have been plenty of scenes, and even characters, that I've written and then ended up leaving behind at some point, knowing full well that the integrity of the plot would be improved by doing so.
And it can be tough! When I write something in the first place there's usually a good reason for it, so it's hard to just scrap the idea. Not to mention the fact that I've spent time working on it, and it's never fun to just get rid of something I once spent an hour or more creating.
Then again, it's tougher to watch the novel suffer due to self-indulgence. Maybe I wanted to see a particular event or conversation take place, but ultimately it's the overall project that I'm most concerned about. I figure I'd rather throw some of these things to the cutting floor if it means a better book in the end.
So if you're working on something, don't be afraid to do some trimming when necessary. Always look at the big picture, not just one narrow angle. It may hurt to say goodbye, but in the end you'll be glad you did.
- Completely off the subject, I'm excited to announce that Fireflies in December is a finalist for general fiction in the Retailers Choice Awards. I'm incredibly honored by the nomination! Winners will be announced later this week.