Revision thoughts

After days of staying stuck on some technical aspects, I’ve finally gotten back on track with my revisions. I’m now past a quarter of the way through. So I’m pretty thrilled with my progress. 

Still, having an Internal Editor who is alive and well can have its side effects. 

I almost decided to cut out two of my favorite supporting characters. Because they’re supporting characters that only really find their places in Book two. But as I was about to write down the memo, I realized that I couldn’t get rid of them. Because introducing them in Book two will feel wrong in the story that I will want to tell. So they stay. 

On the other hand, I realized that I’ll have to emphasize the stakes a little more on one of my story line so that I can get the Epic back into my Epic Fantasy. So there will be some serious changes later on in the book. Very close to where I am right now. This change is one I embrace, though. One I look forward to. 

Still, those thoughts above reminded me of something that is becoming increasingly scary to me: Killing my babies. There might still come a point where I will have to cut out characters and scenes. I’ve already cut some, but none of them have been particularly important to me. But I know that the day will come that there will be a scene that I love that will have to go.

And that gives me the jitters.

So… who else is revising? How do you decide what goes and what stage? What do you do when you have to cut something you love?

22 thoughts on “Revision thoughts

  1. Lately my pet peeve has been stories that include unnecessary scenes. (And I'm very guilty.)

    Been writing a synopsis for one story and struggling to get it under 5 pages. It's curious how much insight that gives. I mean, one section of 25 pages can be sum up in 3 sentences, and others take 3 paragraphs. Hm. More revisions? I think so.

  2. You have to be brutal. If you suspect something drags, then it almost certainly does. Cut it, save the scene in a “supplementary material” folder so it can be mined for ideas later on, move on and don't mourn it.

    You have to be brutal. And then a true editor comes along and shows you what brutal *really* means.

  3. Shelly here is revising Secondhand Shoes. Rewrote chapter one. Made it tighter.

    Also, gave my editor the first 20 chapters that have been critiqued with my critters. So, I've gotten chapters 1 thru 10 back while I'm going through edits of future chapters with the critters. Talk about work. But I'm excited b/c I can now see the forest thru the trees.

  4. I always mean to keep a 'offcuts' folder with bits I liked but had to cut out, but I haven't started one yet. Generally when I cut something out I just delete it from the revision.

    Deciding what to cut, though, can be difficult. Crit feedback helps with that. It's always good to get other peoples' opinions.

  5. I'm revising my book at the moment but don't anticipate having to cut anything. If you need someone to bounce ideas off of I'm your man, Misha. I've read a lot of epic fantasy so I can tell you if something is “epic”.

  6. I'm revising. I try to look at each scene and if it doesn't move the plot forward, I cut it. It pains me at times, but I tell myself I can include it as bonus material when it's published! LOL

    I didn't cut any characters, but I did cut 3 POV's because they were unneccessary and I could tell it from the MCs point of views and still have the same effect, while keeping the reader out of too many heads.

    Good luck revising! Try not to pull your hair out. 🙂

  7. Each novel I've written has it's own file for my darlings that were cut. That way I tell myself that they aren't really “gone.” Plus, I can always go back and get them if I need them. But I never have.

  8. If I have to cut a scene, I usually open a new document and paste it there for safekeeping. I don't often go back and use it again, but if I want to refer to an idea I used in the original, it's helpful to have it.

  9. It seems like the whole world is revising, but I'm actually not. I just started a new WIP. How I decide what goes is by asking “Can this scene be summarized?” “Would the store die without it?” It's hard, but cutting often helps.

  10. I've never cut characters, but when I've done several passes of revisions, I start noting the scenes that don't really mean anything to the plot – and out they go.

  11. Right now, I am editing as I got along, because I have had ideas about the characters that I needed to work into earlier in the book. Ugh!

    I've also been able to go back to passages and realize they are/were WAY too long and that I don't need to give a blow by blow, fart by fart description of what everybody is doing.

  12. Great post, glad the revisions are going well! Revising is hard for me, I never like to change or cut things, even if they need them. 🙂

  13. One thing that comes to mind to maybe ease the fear is instead of a full on deletion with no return, move the no longer required parts and keep them in a separate document so you can again assess them later and confirm you made the right decision and your book is better for it.

  14. Well…I'm in the middle of rewrite hell. Blech. But I have to admit that I've been feeling really good about all of the cutting I've been doing. It feels good to purge a scene (or a character) when it has otherwise been like a clunky puzzle piece that just won't “fit” properly, know what I mean? Of course, the actual act of clicking “CUT” hurts me all the way to my bones. LOL But the aftereffects are worth it.

    Good luck!

  15. Revising here! I'm ignoring the lemon in my eye effect of cutting away my precious prose by writing on a new project. Makes for a doozy of a headache when I voice hop.

  16. Once I'm invested in my characters, it's too hard to get rid of them. Deleting unnecessary scenes is much easier to do. I love Maria's term, that she keeps deleted scenes in a morgue file! Haha!

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