1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The editing room floor

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Wreybies, Dec 10, 2013.

    I can't count the number of times I've told members "Get rid of it. Your emotional attachment to having written the scene is holding you back. If it no longer works, it needs gone."

    Karma's a bitch.

    There's a good 4k of lovingly crafted words that no longer fit, though they've been with me since the beginning of this project. So much so that there's no value in reworking or tweaking it. It's simply non sequitur to the present story as it has evolved and needs to be chucked in the bin. More than anything, it's the dialogue in the scene with which I was really happy and now it no longer has room to happen.

    :(

    Commiserate at your leisure....
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Amen to that. I had an opening scene to Neverending, a mental musing, that I clung to through several rewrites. It was almost poetic in its imagery, but it never really fit. Also, it was a wee bit purple.

    Dropping it wasn't easy, but I haven't regretted it since. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm no longer fettered by passages that should be slashed and burned.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    To get past the psychology of the difficult 'delete' decision, I put discarded things in a dump file (end of the book). It's one step short of 'trash' and it seems to help with the barrier to tossing something that sounded good when I wrote it but no longer fits in the story. I did it with my short story then when the story was finished, I went through the dump file, deleting everything I knew I didn't want on the first pass, then got rid of the rest after contemplating more carefully if I wanted to use any of it. For my novel I've not done that yet but it was easy to delete the stuff when the short story was finished so it should be the same for the novel.
     
  4. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    What's interesting is comparing a script to the final film. What gets cut and what doesn't.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    try comparing the original script to the shooting script!... several incarnations later, after all the studio's rewrite hacks and the director have done their worst, it may not be recognizable...

    one famous screenwriter said after one of his scripts had gone through the 'preproduction' process--too many rewrites to count--he found only one scene of his had survived... i think i recall he refused to allow his name to go in the credits as 'screenwriter'... but, of course he cried his way to the bank, having been paid handsomely for a script that never made it to the screen...
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Really unnecessary, if you are keeping all your drafts. And you SHOULD be keeping all your drafts!
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies - Not commiserate, celebrate. We all have our blind spots that hold us back, and it isn't always easy to get past it. It's a lot easier to tell someone else to "86" a scene, character, chapter or subplot than to do it yourself, so I salute you.

    Not long ago, I posted about a problem that I was struggling with regarding a certain chapter I had planned. I ultimately decided to scale it way back from my original plan and merge it with another (well, actually merge three planned chapters into two). The funny thing is, I knew almost as soon as I had posted my dilemma what the decision would be, but going through the exercise helped.
     
  8. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    I do this sometimes. I'll remove material and save it in a seperate document, then carry on working on the manuscript. Usually after I've worked on for a while I'll see that the piece as a whole has been improved by the deletion, and I'll then feel confident enough to delete the excess material altogether.
     

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