Shaping is crucial to a story, and trimming extra words or cutting lines, paragraphs, or scenes that slow down the pace can make your manuscript that much tighter, brighter, and engaging.
No, I admit, it’s not easy at all. Sort of like having long hair and deciding to cut it short. Not an easy decision, and it usually sits with you for a while as you debate back and forth with yourself if you REALLY want to do that. Similar to scenes that you really like--maybe with clever dialogue or some funny incident. It is a debate back and forth, almost a fight with yourself because you know it would be better for the book, BUT you feel it is such a good piece of writing, too, that you don't want to get rid of it. Yet, if those paragraphs/scenes stall the pace, you are doing more of an injustice to your story and especially to your reader by giving them a chance to stall, pause, a reason to close the book and go wash their sink-full of dishes.
You want your readers to HAVE to keep turning the pages and let those dishes sit for another hour while they finish your book.
Think of it kind of like a trip to the hairdresser--maybe you did decide to cut your long hair or simply have it styled, and more often than not you come out feeling better about yourself, confident, beautiful. No, it’s not an easy decision to cut parts of your story you think clever and witty, but like getting a fresh haircut, your confidence in your story will raise tenfold when you chop off the unnecessary lose ends and see how much you gain in forward momentum.
And remember, always save those witty, funny, dramatic scenes or pieces of dialogue you loved in a miscellaneous file. Just because they didn’t fit this manuscript, doesn’t mean they can’t wholeheartedly benefit another in the future.😉
© bystacydawn 2018