To Cut, or Not to Cut

I’m not going to lie, I’m writing this post as a means to ignore the question that’s been attempting to pound down the metaphorical door in my brain for the past month: Should I cut this scene, even if it’s one of my favorites?

It’s a writer’s nightmare. The idea of cutting a scene that makes you feel all giddy and happy makes you physically nauseous. The problem is, sometimes it just has to be done. Sure, the scene is funny. My favorite character has a lot of good moments. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to one different question: Is this scene adding anything to the story?

Back when I first wrote this scene, the answer was “yeah.” It established the relationship between my main character and his brand-new nemesis. Now, though, I’ve added a scene a few chapters before this one that does exactly that, but sooner, and so this scene seems to be rendered pointless and redundant (other than the great moments of humor, but, unfortunately, jokes alone do not a novel make). So I guess that answers that question. It still hurts, though. It bums you out when something you think is great has to go. But I know that, if I ever get an agent, he or she will make me cut it anyway if I don’t just do it now. I suppose I’ll just have to close my eyes, plug my nose, and get it over with… metaphorically speaking, I mean. Can you imagine trying to edit a novel with your eyes closed? I like to think that was how Fifty Shades of Grey came to be (SICK BURN but also jk because that book may not be a literary masterpiece but at least E.L. James actually has a book published and really what room do I have to talk at this point in my non-career?).

Have you guys ever been aboard this struggle bus? Have you ever had to cut something that you loved? Or, conversely, have you ever refused to cut something, even if you sort of knew that it didn’t add anything to the story? Let me know in the comments!

For now, I guess I’ll get back to writing. That scene isn’t going to cut itself, after all, no matter how much I wish it would. I mean, I’m basically pulling a 127 Hours here. Every part of this novel feels like one of my limbs at this point.


Wish me luck.


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