Those precious words are all we have to show for hours sitting at the keyboard. When it comes to editing our manuscripts, cutting words is the hardest part. We have elaborate methods of keeping them--highlighting them for possible removal, opening new files to cut and paste the lovelies for future use, whatever your method. But do you hear yourself?
You’re saving WORDS, for crying out loud. You make your career crafting words into sentences and you think for one minute that you won’t ever be able to recreate such beautiful phraseology?
Okay, all that said, I succumbed to the same temptation to save my words, but you know what? I quickly realized that in one way or another, whether in idea or wording, I was almost always reusing those little lovelies in other manuscripts.
I think writers often put more emphasis on their words to the detriment of pacing--the flow of the story. Whether a phrase or a paragraph or a page, if it seems to throw the story off track, or cause the pacing to slow, or just doesn’t fit, saving it is futile. It’s garbage. Trash. Put it in the round file and don’t look back.
Instead of focusing on the beauty of a useless passage, focus more on the overall story. Focus on the pacing and flow. If three paragraphs of lovely description slow the pacing, chuck it. Don’t fear that you won’t be able to recreate it at a later time. If you’ve strung together such lovely descriptions once, you can certainly do it again. And you will. Because you’re a writer.