Guest blogger Richard S. Charles on the courage to cut.
Never be afraid to delete sentences, paragraphs or even whole sections of your work-in-progress if they are not necessary, even if they are beautifully written. I once purposely deleted a whole chapter of my sequel when I was editing it. Although it read well, the plot was obviously going nowhere as a result of its inclusion; it was just padding and superfluous!
Dixon says: Great advice, with one small proviso. I have a “junk” file in my computer where I save large chunks (a paragraph or more) that I’ve cut during rewrites and edits. Sometimes I find myself going back and searching for one golden sentence or phrase that would be perfect somewhere else.