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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

To Cut or Not To Cut?


Hello, gentle readers! Hope you are all well and staying safe!
I…am a puzzler. I write scenes as they come to me, whether they are at the beginning of the story or the middle or the end and then I sorta puzzle them together, filling in information, scenes, etc., where I need them. In my current WIP, I’ve already written the epilogue as well as the three scenes before the epilogue even though I’m no where near that place yet, but I know that’s where I want to end up so there you go.
I’ve been writing this way…well, pretty much since I started writing. It works for me. I’ve tried writing from beginning to end in one fell swoop without jumping around, but can’t get my brain to stop. I’ve accepted that this is how I write. I don’t think I could change it if I tried, because, as I said, it works for me…
…most times.
I recently found myself trying to fit a scene into place between two completed scenes (like taking a puzzle piece and forcing it into the puzzle). No matter which way I turned it, no matter how hard I pushed, it just wouldn’t work. Switching POV didn’t work. Starting the scene over again didn’t work. Trying to fit the scene somewhere else didn’t work either.
So what did I end up doing?
          I cut―viciously (yes! Viciously!)—over one thousand words (it was 1,675 words to be exact).
Did it hurt? Oh yeah, especially knowing how long it took to write those 1,675 words. Did I want to cry? Yeah, I did (I didn’t though…I’m tougher than that).
I’m a slow, but steady writer….every weekday morning before the day job, whether I want to or not. That’s not to say I always meet my word count because I don’t. Some days I do really well, often exceeding my projected word count…some days, the words come but they’re not good words…and some days, the words don’t come at all and I end up staring at the blinking cursor (which just mocks me). You get it, I’m sure.
But you know what? Cutting those words freed me up and I was able to write the scene as it needed to be written, exactly where it belonged and I’m rather happy with it.
What’s the moral of my little tale of woe? Sometimes, you just gotta be brutal and get rid of words that don’t push the story forward. Hopefully, your story is better for it.
Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!


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