Paring It Down; or Sometimes, Less Is More

(Post-A-Day Challenge, Day 3)

One of the hardest parts of editing for me is figuring out which scenes are needed and which are not.  I have to admit that my judgment is often clouded by how much I like a scene.  If I like it a lot, I’m more likely to want to leave it in the story, whether it makes sense for it to be there or not.

In the novel I’m currently editing (Book one of the Winterbourne series), I recently discovered that if I deleted a scene, not only did it make the story tighter, but it increased tension between two of the characters.

I’d originally had a sweet little scene where Celia Winterbourne tells her beau, Nicholas Fletcher, that she’s just discovered that she’s not her father’s only child.  Instead, she keeps her secret, and he now learns the news when Dr. Winterbourne announces it to the rest of the world.

But in the meantime, Celia has time to worry whether the announcement will affect her relationship with Nicholas, which is a good and fine thing, since I’ve had a number of comments that the relationship goes too smoothly in the first part of the book.  This adds just a little tension to that relationship.

(Though I do have to admit that part of me still likes that sweet little scene better….)

Little by little, I will shape this mass of writing into a story!


About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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