02 May 2011

Cutting the Dead Weight

This week I am in the take-no-prisoners mode. I’ve put on my critical eyes and sharpened my knife for the toughest part of my job—the killing part.

Too dramatic?

Maybe. But editing is serious business and a crucial part of writing a good book.

In the editing stage, I do my best to cut anything that doesn’t move the story forward and might actually weigh it down. Sounds obvious, right? Well, you might be surprised at how hard it is to kill off my darling words.

Imagine all those sparkling descriptive sentences getting sliced away like grizzled fat. How about the phrase that sings like a perfect melody flushing down the toilet? What about the witty laugh-out-loud banter? It’ll be chopped off like split-ends if it isn’t critical to the story.

There’s only one rule: No dead weight allowed.

It stings, but it’s necessary. If I want a story that lifts off and flies straight and true to readers’ hearts, there’s no other way. Snip, snip.

Those little darlings have to go.

kimberleytroutte.com
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