1. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    Does it hurt to delete brilliant chapters?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by robertpri007, Nov 5, 2012.

    My wife used to edit my ms's, and she was brutal with the bright red marker. I would protest about her deletions, but then to massage my ego would say, "It's actually very good. But it does not fit this story. Use it in some other story."

    It still hurt, but I took a gulp and deleted my wonderful paragraphs.

    That happen to you?
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    All the time, my friend. All the time.

    It gets easier with time. In fact, in time, deleting turns from torture to cop-out. I am now prone to deleting anything that frustrates me hahahahahaha.

    Just keep telling yourself, "It will make your MS better." It's true that sometimes the writing is fine, but it doesn't mean it's necessary to the story.
     
  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I don't think I've written one yet, but yes, I'm sure it would hurt.
     
  4. alexa_
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    alexa_ Banned

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    Actually, it does hurt. Greatly, indeed. And I can't overcome this feeling. I've found a way though to cope with this issue. i just save some unnecessary but well-done parts at my computer, so that I don't delete them.
     
  5. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah! I have an epic fantasy that found a wonderfully entertaining and engaging fellow in its pages. Upon first edits, he, and everything pertaining to him, was ripped from the pages. OUCH!! Yeh. It was agonizing. I even saved him because I liked him so well. I told myself "I can use him elsewhere." I will not. I know I will not. But I saved him just the same. The book dropped a lot of weight in the excision of this fine fellow. He served his purpose and now he is gone.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This happens to me a lot. I take comfort in the stories about Thomas Wolfe, who was an erupting volcano of prose. He delivered (rumor has it) a two-million-word manuscript for his second novel. His editor had to chop great hunks out of it, 100k words at a time, just to make a manageable book. But Wolfe never threw anything away. If something was particularly good, it formed part of his next novel, or the one after that ...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's painful even if you are the one who realizes it needs to go.

    But you do it anyway.
     
  8. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Some good chapters work, and some don't. If you like it, but your readers don't like it, then it is time to throw it away. However, you can ask for some feedback on how to make that chapter better.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sometimes the (chapter/scene/plotline) needs to go simply because it doesn't advance the main story. Be merciless.

    This is the real meaning of :kill your darlings." carve away those beautiful passages that you love, because as great as they may be, they just don't belong.
     
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  10. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    Yes, that is how I feel when cutting an entire character and their lacking contribution to the ms. Heh, it seems like I killed them.
     
  11. Fatback
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    Fatback Banned

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    I think it's obvious what must be done.... You must kill your wife... Dum dum dum.. Just joking. I don't think any writer enjoys deleting or losing any work. You are the writer, you are your own boss... In many ways this is what is so attractive about writing. Your work shouldn't have to be cookie cutter or a slave to certain process to be amazing. Besides trying to stuff entries from one piece into another rarely goes well. I say be your own boss... It's why you love to write in the first place.
     
  12. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Good Lord, I've chopped 5 chapters on my hard copy edit because they didn't belong. While they were replaced with additional characterization that became necessary, there were plenty of paragraphs chopped. Books are never written on the first draft, but during the editing process.
     
  13. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    Yep, it hurts me all the time. Sometimes you don't have to kill the thing that's beautiful, you can just reapply it. The opening paragraph I originally wrote was very flowery. I knew it was nice writing but it just didn't belong where it was. Instead, I used the imagery and some of the ideas of it and created a poem. Then, I was able to move the story forward and didn't feel like I was wasting a good piece of writing.

    Don't throw anything away!
     

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