My son recently pointed out an article in Behance Magazine, called Tip: Send Ideas to the Graveyard on his blog, Prairie Mod. They write about how we sometimes cling to ideas. It doesn't matter if they're good or bad ideas. There comes a time when those ideas need to be destroyed. We need to kill them, so to speak. As writer's, don't you sometimes think you need to send your writing to the graveyard?
Behance: If idea generation is an addiction then killing ideas is the cure.
After spending countless hours developing and polishing ideas, we tend
to become attached to those same ideas (whether they are good or bad).
The result can be a great deal of wasted energy and effort. It's time
to sever ties with (some of) our ideas and send them to the graveyard!
I think some of the things we write are similar to ideas we refuse to get rid of. We may love something we wrote or created so much, we convince ourselves that a character, phrase, sentence, paragraph, page, or chapter is perfect for the story.
In the novel I'm working on, I wrote the perfect chapter. I thought it was, and still do, the best chapter I've ever written. But as I continued to write, the novel's concept changed and slightly veered away from where that chapter was. I keep insisting, to myself, that it still fit. Albeit, like a round peg forced into a square hole. After life's craziness kept me away from the ms for several months I finally looked at it again, with fresh eyes as they say, and realized the chapter stuck out like a sore thumb. I needed to buck up and remove it. I had to kill it.
I've done it before with sentences that, at the time, seemed perfect for a story. But this was the perfect chapter. It was killing something I loved; a part of me. I had to go in with surgical precision and excise the chapter before I convinced myself that it still belonged.
Have you had a similar experience? What was the hardest thing you had to change in your writing? Did you notice you needed to kill it, or was it your editor's idea?