Did I feel bad afterward? Oh hell, yes I did. That was my whole life now sitting there smoldering in the bottom of an old keg barrel.
I used to have this horrible issue with over describing scenes. So much so that I would forget the conversation going on at the start of the description. I was so proud of describing the scene, how detailed it was, how beautifully things flowed. Yeah, that was at the time I was writing it, not reading it, LOL. When I sat down to read this amazing scene I just wrote, well, let’s just say, huh?!?
I shook my head and had no idea what in the world I was going to do. Then I went to a writing chapter meeting and the speaker that day just happened to be speaking on description. It was a lifesaver for me and I went home and chopped that 11 pages down to just a few paragraphs. The scene flowed so much smoother, the description was still there, but I could now remember the conversation between Nichole and Chris and not have to back track to see who spoke last and what they were saying. To this day that is one of my pet peeves when reading a book. Don’t get wordy describing things when there is a conversation going on between characters. You can say the same thing in way fewer words, trust me J
I’ve had some things I refused to edit out. There is a scene in Into the Darkness that could be considered controversial, BUT, it was vital to the storyline and the inner growth of Raven, so I discussed it with my editor and we both agreed it needed to stay because of how vital it was to the storyline.
I guess for me, learning what is and is not necessary in a story helps me grow as a writer. I must say, there are still so many things I cut out when I have finished a first draft. Some of them were necessary only for me, to get that first draft written. Yes, I’m a pantster, I write every scene once, then take half of it away in my first round of editing.
So there you have it, I do kill my little darlings. I mutilate them, chop them up, and yes, even burn them from time to time. No, not just one manuscript or one scene in particular, I've done it to all of them, I'm sad to say. The good news is my newer stuff needs a LOT less chopping and I haven't burned any in awhile ;)