or ‘Killing your darlings: Part 2‘
This is a sequel to my January post, in which I explained that killing your darlings is not related simply to characters, but also to words, sentences, pages or whole chapters.
In our editing process, writers must recognise when something isn’t earning its place in the story. During an extensive edit, I removed characters, passages, and entire chapters from Crusader. When I thought I had the job done, I sent my manuscript out to six beta readers, and waited patiently for verdicts.
A few days later the beta responses started to come through. After a few deep breaths and a strong black coffee, I read them and made notes where applicable. I was delighted to see that except for one person, the story was enjoyed. From the others, I highlighted a few minor issues. Other points suggested to me that I hadn’t been sufficiently brutal in the pre-beta edit.
Only when I had all of my feedback, I armed myself with coffee, a large portion of humble pie, a fresh red pen, a highlighter, and a determination that the story would be treated to a line by line pounding. It’s not a brave author, but a lazy one who shies from personal misjudgement. Being honest with yourself is much harder than the same thing with someone else.
It took eight days of rewriting, and the removal of nine thousand words to produce what I now believe to be a much improved story. Every detail highlighted by my beta readers has been addressed, and apart from areas of revision, and removing more passages to the sequel, I’ve completely revised the first chapter. The story will now ‘rest’ for about two weeks before I read it on my Kindle. If it passes muster, I’ll publish by the end of March 2023.
If you’d like an insight, the revised Chapter 1 is now in my Work in Progress.
Crusader – Chapter 1: Judgements
As authors, we should never be so full of confidence that we produce something less than our best for our readers. Remember, don’t simply injure your ‘darlings’, kill them.
Thank you for dropping by. Comments are welcome as always.