I recently read an author post on their WIP. They have a piece that they feel the need to expand on but it is taking up way too much time, becoming drawn out, and possibly taking away from the story.
I am almost certain that every author has experienced this and though it seems like a bad problem to have I believe it can be a good thing.
I try not to recommend things unless directly asked for advice. I do believe that the writing process is as diverse as we are and what may work for me may not work for you or the next person or the next. What work for you may not work for me and that’s okay. I believe that there is a lot of good advice out there and an author I suggest to follow is @rowanthewriter_ . She has provided great tips that relate to this train of thought.
So this will be one of the few times I give writing advice when no one asked for my opinion.
- NEVER PERMINENTLY DELETE: Keep writing. A good editor is going to determine if it truly necessary to the storyline.
- SAVE REMOVED CONTENT: You spend a lot of time on writing that piece and what may not be good right now may be good later. What may not fit this story may fit another. Create a separate file, digitally or physical, to store your removed content. You never know when you can come back to it. Honestly, your first attempt could be better than trying to rewrite it years later. You may inadvertently leave out key details due to forgetting. That piece you wrote has details to the current situation so its best to tweak things later than try to remember.
Relation to Dark Days:
While writing Dark Days I tried to force some stories pertaining to Willum and Jeremias. I was not happy at all because it took away from Maya and to me it weakened the story. I didn’t even give my editor a chance to look at it and I probably should have but it went against all of the reasons why I started Dark Days.
I also had an epilogue removed during editing from my editor which amounted to almost 15,000 words or almost 50 pages of material. This material gave the backstory for the sects and The Great War. I am a history person and I love back stories so much so that I find it hard to get past the first few chapters of any dystopian story. If you can’t give me a logical explanation or at least plausible reasoning how we went from our current day A to doomsday Z then you have lost my interest.
I listened to my editor and don’t regret the deletion of the epilogue but I worked hard on it and I didn’t want to see it go so I saved it.
Welcome To the Chopping Block
I have a digital folder called the Chopping Block and all deleted content goes into this folder. However, it does not contain just deleted files. It also contains ideas for Easter Egg stories. I love my realm of Sori and absolutely love Maya and her journey but I want to expand. I want to expand but not at the expense of her journey.
In each book I have topics that I have jotted down to create either novellas or a complication novel series. Thus far we are looking at 15 different stories.
So in a long drawn out way my advise is to Remove and Save. Avoid removing and deleting.