Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Be Willing to Do What is Best for Your Book (even when it hurts)

Yup, this one is going to sting a bit. We all know that it is a huge struggle just to get the words out on paper. We strain just to form a single sentence on some days. Once we finally finish our rough draft, it’s beautiful. Maybe it’s a bit misshapen in sections and yea, okay it’s definitely got its issues, but to us, it’s beautiful.

However, if you want your book to truly shine you have to willing to cut away sections, passages, pages, maybe even (gasp!) chapters of your book that you have spent hours agonizing over. Why? Because you realize now that they just don’t fit, it just doesn’t flow, or hopefully, you have something better to replace it with. 

Whatever the reason and no matter the pain, sometimes the best editing tool is a pair of scissors.

But don’t lose heart! Just like a gardener who prunes away the dead portions of a plant to encourage new growth, you can do the same with your own work!

 

*If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip be sure to check out additional tips under the “Writing Tips” category on my home menu!

Happy Writing everyone!

What do YOU need to prune away this week?

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

33 thoughts on “Writing Tip: Be Willing to Do What is Best for Your Book (even when it hurts)”

  1. I’m working on the next chapter for my story and I just deleted a hundred or so words all because they didn’t go well with the story. I have a lot of filler words too. There were some lines that I really liked but it didn’t go well within the chapter. Sometimes when a line that I’ve written and like that doesn’t match with a chapter or story, I save it for another chapter or another story. It pains me to have to cut so much out, but sometimes logic wins over my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Claire! I have been there and I’m sure I will be there again and again. It’s so rough because these words feel like they lare a part of us spilled out into the page. You’re doing the right thing though! And I love the idea of keeping your words for another day and another story 👍🏻👍🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sound advice, KaylaAnn. I once wrote what I thought was the most beautiful, touching, and heart-gripping page I’d ever produced for a novel. I kept it intact for draft after drafter. Then, one day I looked at it, read it again, and proceeded to cut around three-quarters of my masterful page. It WAS a beautiful piece, and such a glorious shade of purple! After admitting this to myself, I stabbed it in the heart and let the purple lifeblood drain away. I was left with a passage much shorter and effective. Lesson learned? Falling in love with your work can be hazardous to the health of your story. 🙂
    –Michael

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It was inner-dialogue (third-person) with the character reflecting on how he’d built “walls” around himself for protection from being hurt. The character is a former combat Marine from the Vietnam War suffering from PTSD. The novel is “The Private War of Corporal Henson.” It’s fiction, but semi-autobiographical. The characters are based on actual people or composites, and around 85% of the story is factual. I hope that covers what you were looking for! 🙂
        –Michael

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It was published in 2014 by Stairway Press (a small publisher in Seattle). Here’s the URL for the Amazon (Kindle) page if you want to take a look:

            Not trying to “push” the book, but if you’re interested let me know and I can either email you a Kindle book or send you a print copy. Here’s my email address:

            emhelms63@yahoo.com

            –Michael 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. No worries, thank you for posting the link! I would absolutely LOVE to read your book as it does sound very intriguing, although to be honest I can’t afford to go spending money right now. If you are able to send me a copy, I could offer you a book review in exchange?
              However, I understand if you are unable to do so and I can wait until after the holidays 😀

              Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m SO sorry about the book cover and “buy” links showing up. I simply copied/pasted the URL so you could take a look at your convenience. I had NO IDEA this would happen; if so, I never would’ve posted it. I NEVER try to push my books on anyone, especially through replies about other posts. I apologize again. Can you delete the below post with the cover? I’d feel better if you did. 😦
        –Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So true. Hell, I have a novel that I’m completely Re-writing, only keeping the basic premise and characters. After going back over it, there were too many plot holes, too much jumping around and overall, just sloppy. Now I’m over 40k into the rewrite and it’s light years better than the first draft.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Two organized crime syndicates battling for a device that can suck the soul out of people and transfer it to the bearer of the device while an Occult Detective and his partner try to stop them. Sci-fi/fantasy.

        Working on a second novel, completely unrelated but the first one taught me so much that this second one is coming along without all those mistakes.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Nope. The first one is the one I described so no, not published yet. Currently, I only have poetry I post online and a few short stories/flash fiction that I’ve self-published on Amazon. I do have some poetry and a short story in submission write now to a couple journals and as soon as I finish these novels I’ll be on the hunt for an agent.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I get frustrated when a few lines I like don’t work well with the poem, and I have to cut them out. I can’t imagine having to delete whole chapters!

    Also, I have an out-of-topic question, if you don’t mind. How does posting whole pieces of writing online affect the probability of having it published?

    In addition, I’m having a difficult time finding a suitable publisher for my poems, because it seems as if most publishers go for the most complicated poems. What advice can you kindly offer me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is difficult that is for sure, but just as you have probably noticed with your poetry, it is for the best.

      Hmm, this is something I have been thinking about lately, and to give you an honest answer, I don’t know. However, I’ll try to give you an educated guess. I would assume that it is neither here nor there. For instance, it is posted online yes, but it is not technically “published”; therefore, it wouldn’t be a problem for a publishing house to pick it up. Also, by the time you get that piece published you might look back on it and realize there are ways to improve it, or your editor will have ideas and the piece online will not be identical to the piece published. Does that answer your question?

      Well, first let me say this. Rejection is the norm. It is not the norm to be accepted. Part of being a writer or poet is learning to accept the rejection, to use it to better yourself, or to ignore it, and try again. If the publishing houses do not like your writing style but you do not wish to change your writing style then change publishing houses. There are tons out there. I suggest you find poems that you like and that are similar to yours and then see who they published with. Once you’ve done that, send in your submissions to that publishing houses. Does that make sense?

      Hope I was able to help!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, this is very helpful. About using rejection to better myself, it’s difficult to do that because editors don’t usually take the time to give feedback. Speaking of which, I really appreciate that you are giving feedback after the poetry contest. I think it’s much needed, especially for writers starting out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I mean about bettering oneself doesn’t necessarily have to do with accepting their feedback because you’re right, they hardly ever respond with feedback. I mean use it to better yourself with patience, endurance, and perseverance.
      You’re very welcome! I hope everyone finds it beneficial!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have heard that by the time a writer revises and revises, and an editor edits and edits, that we won’t recognize our WIP when its completed. Its sad and difficult, but I like to think the finished project will be worth it. :~)

    Liked by 1 person

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