Sunday, July 25, 2021

Getting the Knives Out

By Claire Booth

I’m in the final stages of editing my latest manuscript. It needs to go to my editor this coming week. And this is what it boils down to:

Killing characters is easy. It’s killing words that’s hard.

I’ve trimmed and tightened and now it’s down to slicing off the last bits that aren’t absolutely essential to the story. More often than not, these are my favorites. A turn of phrase here, a witty piece of dialogue there. Slice. Backstory pieces that don’t contribute to the plot. Chop. A great joke about the dog. Gone.

This is the most painful part of the process for me, which I suppose is why I leave it until the end. If you’re a writer, how hard is it for you to kill your darlings?

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