Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Writing dilemmas

Last night I hit the two-thirds point on my current WiP, and at the very same moment realised I was going to have to axe a couple of scenes. Grooooaaan!

It happens. I know I’m being more professional than I was back when I started, because nowadays I can more easily identify the stuff that doesn’t move fast enough, material that doesn’t contribute to the story in a powerful enough way to warrant being there. In the old days, I couldn't bear to part with anything that I thought was good, regardless of whether it was moving the plot forward or not. Pretty little scenes that I had lovingly crafted stayed put, whether or not they played their full part. I started to get published when I took a step back...gritted my teeth...and picked up my axe.

Nowadays I mentally go back and interrogate each scene as I'm working. A scene has to be worthy of being there. Even if it looked good in the plotting stage, it has to work in actuality. A story never works out exactly how I plotted it, either the characters lead, or a new idea grabs me. In this case, it was the new idea that meant tightening up. All good stuff, but it’s still hard to axe. :-) Being able to do it is part of being a professional, though. If I can do it, I know I am worthy (laughs) There will, however, be a painful yelp that echoes across the land as my word count rockets down!

Conversely, AGAINST THE GRAIN, my next editing project in the queue, moves too fast at points and needs a small extra scene or two. What would I do without my CP?

I’m missing my blog hopping time. Looking forward to catching up with everyone soon, when I catch up with myself. :-)


Jordan Summers said...

I'm pretty good at cutting the fat in a manuscript. I've learned that it doesn't matter how much I cut, I always put more back. LOL! Good luck with your cuts.

Sasha White said...

I'm just the opposite. I'm almost done my WIP and it's SHORT!!!