As I’m working on going through DDs clothes and toys, I’m struck by sadness and a little bit of waste as I give away beautiful outfits that she’s outgrown. Some still with tags on (she was a very late walker and couldn’t wear dresses and crawl).
But unless divine intervention undoes medical intervention, we won’t be having any more children. So, we no longer have a use for rattles or tiny little dresses.
With a bit of sadness and the hope someone else will enjoy the fact I loved playing dress-up with my daughters and bought them way too many girly dresses, I box them up to give them away.
It’s never easy, but I do it because there’s no point in keeping clothes that can never be worn again or toys that’ll only collect dust.
If only I could do this so easily with my writing.
I’ve heard Stephen King’s advice to “kill your darlings,” but for me, it’s more than just that.
Its one thing to cut words, it’s something else to cut chapters, a whole character, or the entire ending.
Yet, it’s still just as necessary as getting rid of old clothes. There’s no more point in having my story cluttered with ill-fitting characters, scenes or endings than there is keeping newborn clothes for my toddler, no matter how much I love those tiny overalls or Rose-printed dress.
While the concept is the same, the execution is vastly different.
I am 40,000 words into my third book (I know, I know, I should concentrate more on publishing what I have, but that isn’t fun). I was working away when I realized a scene I was writing would involve the hero and heroine apart for the next several chapters. By and large, that’s a quick way to annoy your Romance audience. The romance between the characters has to come first, the plot, while important, plays a back-up role. Read a handful of reviews on Amazon, and you’ll see what I mean.
I had written myself into a corner. I either had to separate the hero and heroine or I had to rewrite. In a first draft. Ugh. But I cut over 2,000 words and rewrote them. Back on track, with a little more clutter gone.
It’s pretty easy to know what fits your child and what doesn’t. It’s a whole lot harder to quickly see what works in your novel and what doesn’t. But once I do see it, I can’t un-see it. I try really hard not edit as I write, but sometimes it just happens.
In this case, I’m glad I rewrote now or the whole ending wouldn’t needed a full rewrite. It’s kind of like taking the cute dresses back once you learn DD isn’t going to be walking anytime soon.