Cutting out scenes is much easier than changing them. I’m not just talking about how much time it takes. When I simply cut a scene, it still exists. It’s as if I could put out a special extended edition story, like they do on DVD.Â But whenÂ IÂ thoroughly change it, the old scene is destroyed by the new one. Many pretties are lost, not because they didn’t do their job well in their place, but because they no longer do.
At one time, those sentences poured from our fingers in a rush of understanding exactly what we thought the story needed there, be it information or an emotional tug. It made me jump up after a short time, almost too excitedÂ to write. Weeks later, when I read the words again, I can hardly believe they are mine.
But months later, when I’ve seen a flaw in the story that needs to be fixed, those sentences become a description that no longer applies, or a thing that should no longer happen, or maybe it’s just in the wrong place, but in theÂ right place it no longer fits. So out they go, children of my mind, no longer needed.
I save nearly every draft that has undergone a lot of revision, just for this reason. I can’t let go. I’m a packrat of words I’ll never read and never reveal to the world. At least not until I’ve become so famous that some university library will want to collect them so that they can become fodder for the thesis of some hapless graduate student.