So I'm nearly done revising the first 150 pages of The Happiest Days of My Life. Or at least done the very first revision. No doubt there will be many more to come. But as I mentioned a while ago, I knew that something was slightly not right about the book, so I asked for editorial input, and got some fabulous ways to tweak the story.
So I'm nearly there, and I'm totally psyched about the improvements I've made. But I have to say...ugh...it is so, so, so painful to hit that delete key on entire scenes and see my word count dip so dramatically. Anyone else feel this grief?
I know, I know, that it is for the best. Trust me, the book is so much stronger for it, but still, part of me dies a little every time I have to do this. That said, the reason I'm actually blogging about this is because I think that sometimes, writers get too attached to scenes/ideas/characters that just aren't working, and for the love of God, while we don't want to cut them, we must! Whenever I hit that delete key, I remind myself that this book is a compilation of scenes and stories that all add up to one big package...and if any of the elements are off, well, the package can be a doozy. It CAN'T be about keeping one specific scene, regardless of how much it depletes my word count, because it just isn't fair to the rest of the book, not if that scene sucks the big one.
And so, with a heavy heart, I have axed, and axed, and axed, BUT, honestly, by cutting an entire subplot that I really wasn't thrilled about writing AND really wasn't popping off the page, AND finding a new subplot that infused the ms with a lot more energy, I really have done the book (and myself) a favor. And when it hits bookstores, I know that I won't regret it. Even when it breaks my heart (if only for that dang word count) right now.