I had to cut some of my darlings this past week. Last month, I said I wanted to take out an earthquake. I dragged my feet on it. If I took out the first earthquake, then I needed to find some other way to separate my character from the rest of his group. As I ran through scenarios in my mind, I came to the most likely cause being a backlash of the character’s power. Plus I’m a fan of characters creating their own mess, so it fits how I do things. Problem is, there’s a good chunk of information between when he uses his power and when he’s separated from his group. I could no longer fit it in without dragging down the series of events.
And so, I cut it. Normally I’m good at chopping out chunks of writing. I just slide it away into my “UNUSED” file and keep on going. Some of it will make it to later in the story, but other tidbits just won’t fit anywhere else because of timing. And I have to admit, I’m kind of sad. I like my little dialogue exchange and the teasing. But I can’t fit it in before the event, and it won’t work after.
I suppose I’m not really insecure this month. I succeeded in removing that first earthquake. But gosh darn it, I wonder if it was worth it now. We’ll see when I finish.
IWSG Question of the Month: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
With reading: characters who wallow in their self-pity rather than take action to fix their issue. Sure it’s a character growth thing, but spend too long on it, and I’ll likely chuck a book across the room.
Writing/Edit: I don’t have an pet peeves that affect my own writing, at least not that I’ve noticed. I do see stuff that I suggest changes on when critiquing though: filtering, unnecessary dialogue tags, really long sentence fragments that don’t create a mental connection to the previous sentence, past progressive verbs, and using “was” for description. But are they pet peeves? Hmm.
Have you ever been sad after killing your darlings? What are your pet peeves?