When Editing Hurts

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I’ve edited my stories before (I’ve edited Balance so many times I’ve lost count), but this past week is the first time I can say that I got real about it. How so? I finally cut a scene that wasn’t really working but I was very attached to. I had left it alone because I’d written it awesomely. It hurt to chop it, I mean I had the perfect amount of emotion in it, the pace was right and it just shone! But it didn’t fit my story. And no matter how perfect a scene is, if it doesn’t gel with the rest it must be cut.

One of my Twitter friends reminded me that the pain is a good pain, making your story stronger. Another two gave me a very good tip and is one I want to pass on, keep all your cut pieces of writing and store them in a folder/file/whatever for they may come in handy later. I’m determined to use it somewhere down the track.

I don’t think you can say you have really edited your work until you have cut out a piece that you really love but know just isn’t working. It is this ruthlessness that makes the story work and really, you owe it to yourself and to what you are working on to give it strength and make it the best it can be.

So be brave, read the story like a reader and cut bits out, no matter how much you love them. Save them somewhere safe and who knows, maybe you’ll be able to use them again. Your story will thank you for it.

Let me know how you go about editing your favourite scenes in the comments below. Have a happy and creative week everyone 🙂

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16 thoughts on “When Editing Hurts

  1. Oh yes, can’t totally relate to this Samantha. I’ve had to cut a few scenes that I love, but just don’t work with the story. Sure they’re lovely pieces of writing with high emotion (or so I think!), but if they aren’t moving the story forward they can’t be there. And yes, I never delete – always save – you know, just in case 😉

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  2. I have 190,000+ words in my ‘Deleted’ folder. And that’s not all that I’ve cut from my ms—I haven’t even kept the cuts from the last couple of edits. There are at least four whole chapters in that folder, a couple of characters and countless scenes. As you say, those words are never wasted. Firstly, you can use them in another story, and secondly, they helped get the story to where it is now. Which is better than it was! Good luck! x

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  3. Pingback: A Year of Blog Posts | Samantha House

      • Yes, all the revisions and edits were finished for that book back in late 2007, and then I published the 1st edition of the book as an indie author. The results about 10 years later are more than 22k sold earning more than $40k and 302 reviews on Amazon with a 4.2 reader review average. The book is called “My Splendid Concubine”. It’s historical fiction. There’s a love story, and it is based on a true story.

        Starting in 2013, I have run 3 BookBub ads. I haven’t submitted for another BookBub ad since the last ad ran in 2015. The prices have gone up a lot since my last ad with BookBub.

        This link leads to the 3rd edition. Even after I released the book back in December 2007, it went through other edits and revisions after feedback from early readers.

        Liked by 1 person

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