Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dont Fall In Love With Your Own Writing

Hah! I've felt like this before! Come on, admit you have too.

Like that character you created is so dear to you that cutting any part of him is painful. (Even when it doesn't move the story along).

Like that poetic sentence is just too beautiful to rip out. (Even when it makes no sense).

Like deleting that super detailed scene--that took you months to create--is not possible. (Even when it is too much backstory).

Admit it! You know you've committed one of these crimes. Of having an affair with something or someone in your book that's not good for you or the book. Well, I sure as hell have. In fact, I am still struggling with it during my revision process as I speak (or type).

I read somewhere that while you may love everything you write, liking it too much risks making it difficult to improve. I dont know about you, but I want to improve. I desperately, passionately, intimately want to improve. I want my novel to rock your world.

So I will wipe away my tears as I say goodbye, but goodbye nonetheless.

Have you had to cut, rip, and tear something you loved dearly?

20 comments:

  1. I feel the same way. It helps to alleviate the pain by taking the scene and putting it in a leftovers folder. That way it'll always be there if you want to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes I have. And it hurts. Deep. But right now I'm passing through a stage where I don't love my writing at all and that's almost as hard.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally feel the same way. It's hard to be so mean to my characters. And it's hard to cut out conversations that are super awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. On this most revision, all I've done is cut my favorite scenes. I'm with you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love that illustration every time I see it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yep. We're supposed to cut our favorite sentence/paragraph/scene/chapter or whatever. It's crazy hard, and I know I usually leave it to the very last painful revision I make, but if it isn't moving the story along it doesn't matter how beautiful it is. I love your picture with the post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I dealt with this recently - had to make a character I really liked more flawed. But in the process I came to like him so much more because now he was relatable/more human. It's hard, but so worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I definitely agree, but I'm in love with writing (I know, we all are).

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's difficult sometimes to remain objective. However, your point is very true.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree. My passion for wanting to make my work the best it can be softens the blow of cutting it.

    In saying that, I always copy and paste it into another document. So now I have a bunch of documents with random scenes that I'll never read again :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my goodness have I! I spent an entire year trying to make my story revolve around one scene that I just felt I couldn't give up. It turned out that "killing that darling" was the thing my story needed. I wish I had cut it out sooner.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I disagree. You can fall in love and still edit. You owe it to your characters to make them as strong and intriguing as possible. Your story deserves to be the best it can be. If you really love your story, you'll make it shine, no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I totally get that. It takes away the sting when you just "move" it to another file, though. :) Then it isn't dead... it's um... visiting relatives or something.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I always save it in another file so it isn't lost forever :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yup - so true! I even fall in love with my first drafts and have a honeymoon period where I think no revisions will be necessary because it's so lovely and perfect and I LOVE it. HA! The day I open my finished WIP and think, "Oh, dear this is horrid!" is the day I know I'm ready to revise. The honeymoon's over! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I dread this Jessie. Dread it, but I know it's true. And I want to improve too! I do not look forward to when I have to cut those lovely parts or people of my book that I have worked so hard on.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have to love my book to write it's first draft, but then I have to turn mean and rip it apart to improve it. Not easy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I feel sick to my stomach every time I've perfected a paragraph, then realize it doesn't work so I have to nix it. HATE THAT!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Gosh that statement is soo true! LOL!

    Hello BTW, I am currently going around everyone's blogs that are following me and thanking them. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and what better way to show thanks then to thank those that are following your blog. So thank you. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

    ReplyDelete