Editing: A Truth About Cutting

Here is the truth about writing a story: shit is not about you. I’m sorry, but it’s true. What you are writing has nothing to do with you-the-writer and everything to do with the story you are telling. What you want only matters to the extent that the story wants it too. 

If it doesn’t make sense, if you can’t get it to fit, or it’s not relevant to anything, you have to cut it. You have to. You don’t get to choose just because you’re the writer. They’ll tell you, you can. They’ll say: it’s your story, you can do whatever you want. 

They’re fucking liars. Your control only goes so far. Your duty is to that story, not your ego.

If the story demands you do something different, you listen. You are raising this creation to exist without you. You’re teaching it to speak on its own when you’re not there to translate. Don’t be that mom who’s okay with stunting her kid’s growth because she can’t stand the idea of Suzie Q not being mommy’s little girl anymore.

If you realize you’re too attached to your own words and struggling to trim the fat off your novel/short story/poem/whatever, duplicate that mothertrucker, hide it in some obscure folder somewhere, and cut that shit out like a kindergartener with safety scissors. Get. It. Done.

Still struggling? Drop a comment down below; I’ll talk some sense into you.

Happy hacking!

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Moira is a self-identified space cadet currently trapped in the desolate wasteland of Upstate New York. She was first published at the age of nine in an anthology for children that still lives permanently on her bookshelf. Her hobbies include wine, television, and overthinking everything.

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