I have reached a section of my novel that I have been dreading editing. I have known that it needs to be substantially altered. My problem is I can’t decide the best way to alter it. Right now, the main decision I need to make is do I keep it, or do I cut it from the story entirely.
So far, I have been doing a lot of cutting. Mostly it’s a phrase here, a sentence there. At most I’ve deleted two paragraphs. I’ve wielded the delete key with abandon. The difference is that I’m looking at cutting a one thousand word section. The thought of taking out such a substantial chunk is intimidating. It would be the biggest section I’ve excised from the story.
I have to admit that I am a little intimidated by the choice. If I decided to keep it, I would need to rework it heavily. Rereading it, I see that sections of it are wish fulfillment based on events in my life. I do have an idea about how it could be made to fit the arc of the story better. I’m just not sure that it is absolutely necessary to spill out the scene in detail. It could easily be broken down into three short paragraphs that would perform the same function.
At the same time, I’m not sure that three paragraphs would be the right way to convey this information. There is a place where I can slip in some foreshadowing and start hinting at a consequence. That’s very difficult to do in three paragraphs.
I know it’s not time wasted to delete it. It would leave a it won’t leave a gaping hole that needs another thousand words to fill. That tells me about how necessary that scene is. It does currently serve as part of a transition, but there are other ways to make transitions.
So what will I do? At this moment, nothing. Tonight when I get home from my day job, I’ll open the file and start rewriting the scene with the idea I currently have and see where that takes me. If what I write works, I’ll continue on. If not, the delete key is primed and ready.