Fiction · Plan · Write

Scrapping what isn’t working


Your writing means a lot to you and you spend a good deal of time trying to get things to be perfect. However, some portions of your work will be much easier to evaluate than others. How can you tell when it’s time to scrap something that isn’t working?

As a writer, you are an artist trying to craft a story as perfectly as you can. This means you are taking your original thoughts and turning them into full-fledged ideas. You are twisting and turning them so they sound great and add value to your vision. Sometimes things will work well right from the start while other areas will need a bit of tweaking. Others, still, may need some changes to be made in order to make them work in the context you need them to.

Every sentence you write needs to have a clear purpose within your work. It should add value to your story and help your reader understand what’s happening. If something doesn’t do this, it’s time to let it go.

This can be easy a lot of the time, but it may also mean cutting portions of your work that you really enjoyed writing or find to be particularly enjoyable to sign your name to. For the latter, you may want to hold onto the parts you cut so you can use them elsewhere if they seem to fit, or to take the time to rework them at a later date. However, it’s important to remember that if your words aren’t adding to the reader’s experience when it comes to enjoying your story, they need to be altered or removed completely.

If the portion in question gives the reader new information or helps clarify something, then you should take the time to rewrite the area until it works the way it was intended to. If the reader’s experience won’t really be changed by its omission, it’s likely time to cut this portion of your work to make sure you are holding people’s attention and keeping your work flowing nicely.


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