Katherine Hayton | Kill your darlings
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07 Jul / Kill your darlings

It’s back to editing this week. Whenever I can tear myself away from my phone pursuits, I have been carefully, and not so carefully, trolling through every single word I’ve written down and seeing which ones make it through.

Depending on the time of day, this can vary. At the moment I’m about to go to bed, so the chances of all words making it through intact is very high, by tomorrow morning it will be lower.

However, just to keep things exciting, this evening I went all gung-ho and removed an entire chapter.

I’m still hurting. That cut went deep. I remember when I lovingly crafted all those lovely words and stacked them up in lines on the laptop screen dotting them with punctuation, and painting them with white space as deemed appropriate.

The fact I could remove the entire chapter without needing to change any other word kind of pointed out that it wasn’t needed. I’ve heard of stand-alone books being hugely successful, but stand-alone chapters? Not so much.

Now my book looks so much smaller. It wasn’t as though it was a short chapter, it was a halfway decent length. There were thousands of words. Gone forever.

Well, not really. They’re actually in another word document waiting to see if I change my mind tomorrow and put them all back in.

It’s not that likely. I don’t like making decisions the first time. I’m even less in favour of going back and making them again.

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog
2 Comments
  • Diane Coto

    Yes, I can imagine that was an 'Ouch' moment. 🙁
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

    Reply
  • Roger Parkinson

    You can always put them in a ‘deleted scenes’ section of your website. Mrs did this with several early chapters which, while good, were making the start of the book too slow. So they’re still part of the story, for the keener readers.

    Reply

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