Friday, October 30, 2015

Omission--The Art and Craft of What to Delete

This week I removed a page from my novel's opening chapter. I'd worked on that page for two years, off and on, and workshopped that chapter maybe a dozen times. It was as good as I could make it. But I hadn't seen that there was material I didn't need, and I couldn't see that in even the eleventh draft, just because the shape was still evolving in my mind.
This week, I had a new perspective, thanks to some feedback from an agent. Opening chapters need to do two things, she said. Introduce the character and put them into some immediate action. I had the action, no problem. But I spent too long introducing the character. Now, what I've omitted, makes room for more tension in the storyline.