All I Need



The Pea has been going through an interesting phase lately where he'll grow attached to a random object, say a spoon. And he'll carry that spoon around all day. And want to sleep with it. And scream loudly if one tries to take away his spoon.

And then, the next day, it will be a rubber duck.

I've realized that I do this in my writing. I grow attached to a scene, a chapter, a character, a plot point. Which...fine, whatever...until that scene/chapter/character/plot point isn't working. Suddenly, that loved element is weighing me down. Oh, but I love it. Sometimes, I'll  hit a point where I'll start tinkering with everything around it, the stuff that is working, so I can avoid the inevitable. Because I can't just cut it.

Except that, yes, I can. I must. Revising is a ruthless activity.


Have you ever clung to a story element far longer than you should have? What kept you from changing it--love of the element or fear of what cutting it would do?

P.S. I've decided to go forward with the So Long And Thanks For Nothing, High School Blogfest even if I'm the only one doing it. Please, please don't let me be the only one doing it. It will be High School all over again. Details to follow about the when/what/where.  :)

6 comments:

  1. Yes! In my last story, I cut a character out and felt the pang in my heart. I even cut a TON of chapters. By the last one, I was pretty much immune to it though! ;)

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  2. Girl, I hang on to whole wip's that NEED TO BE BURIED!! lol I'm nostalgic...or stupid. I don't know. You won't be the only blogfest participant...you forgot me! :)

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  3. That definitely happened to me. I had two chapters at the beginning of my book that everyone wanted me to cut -- even an agent said I needed to cut them. But I didn't. Finally, I tried writing the book without the chapters as an experiement, mostly to prove to myself it wouldn't work, and then I realized it worked really well.

    I have a blog post about it:

    http://teralynpilgrim.blogspot.com/2011/01/where-to-start-story-and-where-to-end.html

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  4. I've learned to let go. It's a hard thing to learn. I'm more willing now than I used to be. Usually I hang onto something because getting rid of it means a big revision. In the end I always end up doing it though.

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  5. Karen,

    Thought this blog post was interesting.
    http://www.bloglovin.com/m/245286/174421730/a/0/aHR0cCUzQSUyRiUyRmZlZWRwcm94eS5nb29nbGUuY29tJTJGJTdFciUyRkNKYW5lRW5qb3lJdCUyRiU3RTMlMkZraG1zTVlmaHZpSSUyRnN1bmRheS1ndWVzdC1wb3N0LXNlcmllcy1hbmdlbGEuaHRtbA==

    She is Mormon, and talks about writing from that perspective, but I thought of you when I read it!

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  6. Ha, ha. I know what you mean. I think what works best for me is distancing. When time passes and I've written a lot of other words, it's not as hard to cut a certain part. Plus, it helps to copy and paste it in an "extra" document so in a way you always have it even if nobody else ever reads it.

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