04 February 2011

How do you delete?

All writers experience the need to delete entire sentences, paragraphs, and pages of work.  Thousands of words down the drain.
How do you make those necessary changes?  How do you delete writing you have fallen in love with?
The easiest way to delete is to not actually delete.  I have made the decision to re-work a big part of ‘Rupert’ even though I love what I have already written.  Instead of erasing it completely, I’ve merely moved it into another document.  Maybe I’m keeping it for sentimental reasons only, but who knows, maybe I’ll be able to use it in some other piece of writing.
This is not the first document I have saved works goes along these lines.
How have I made the decision to take this part of Rupert out?  Simply put, I have to.
 I’m a believer that stories tell us what happens, and what they need to say.  Characters have their own personalities that we, as the writer, have to be true to.  The story line is not something we decide on but is merely something that happens.  Either we are true to that, or not.  Either we force it to change, or not.  If we listen, it is not hard to make these changes.
When a particular part of a story doesn’t work it is easy to take out, even if I am in love with the writing or the idea behind it.  If I do love it, then it gets saved somewhere at the bottom of my documents folder. Someday, perhaps I’ll take this portion of ‘Rupert’ out and a new story will come of it.


  1. Yup. The 'cuts' file is a staple of each of my novels.

    Or you could just send me the pages and I'll slash and burn. :P My students call me The Red Pen. (has that scared you off from sending me work yet?)

  2. J,
    About how long will this story be in length? I'm curious as to whether you're working on a picture book, or chapter...what interest level? This is so amazingly interesting, to follow the birth of a story!

  3. I'm thinking this is a book geared for middle grade- probably 4th. And I'm shooting for around 25,000 words, give or take a few :) (Those words will break up into about twelve chapters).

    Haha, I was definitely confused on whether or not it was Grandma posting!