So you finished the book you were writing and you gave it some time to rest and then you went back to it and. . . those chapters you loved that developed characters and relationships and made your heart happy. . . yeah, they don’t work in your story anymore.
I wrote that as though it were a universal experience but the truth is I have no idea how widespread it is. I do know, however, that it is exactly what happened to me. I went to take a look before posting the chapters up and they just didn’t fit in the story anymore. I still have them saved in a document on my computer because I cannot bear to part with them, but they are not a part of the story anymore.
Cutting chapters (or scenes, or characters, or anything else) that you loved is probably one of the hardest things to do as an author. I had to cut them for the health of the overall book and the pacing of the beginning half of the book (which, if I’m being honest, still needs work), but it was really hard to do.
My next job, which is equally unenviable, is to cut more scenes from the slower parts of the book and fill out the plot more fully. Unfortunately, I need some people to read my book for me first because I am too close to this to be able to really see all of it from an objective perspective. Understandably, it is difficult to find people willing to read a whole book and give feedback, but I am taking that as a good thing; it is giving me time to let the book sit so I can look at it with fresh eyes when I get to editing it again.
What do you do when you have portions of your novel that you love but you need to cut? Do you ever find it hard to let go of certain parts of your work even though you know it will improve the work as a whole? Has there ever been a book you read where you wish the author had parted with some scenes that are well loved by others?