And Before I Forget

There was something Terry said while we were discussing writing and, more specifically, editing, that I loved. He was talking about taking out lines that he loved. (We’ve all been there, we’ve written something that we think is beautiful, and probably is, but it doesn’t belong in the piece. And we have to wrestle with our egos to cut it.)

He said that he kept all of those deleted lines. He’d saved them so he could use them in something else.

And you know what? He hasn’t ever used one.

Now, there’s a lesson.

ADDED (10:40, July 16th): A small correction to the above. Terry’s just told me that he no longer keeps those lost lines. Like I said, there’s a lesson.

0 Comments on “

  1.  by  Lane

    Good lesson. I always stick deleted bits in a folder but know that I will never, ever use them. I’d have to take a deep breath to delete the folder though!btw, your sort of meme has been done:-)

  2.  by  Tania Hershman

    Really interesting. I can’t actually imagine “re-using” lines. Never done it myself. I cut and then it’s gone.. but I know I should cut more! Glad you had a great day.

  3.  by  Nik's Blog

    The possibility of deleting deleted things – now there’s a quandry! I don’t save odd lines but I do tend to keep old drafts, so maybe I’m cheating.Tania, ‘must cut more’ absolutely must be a writers’ mantra, must be!Nik

  4.  by  Jo

    i kick myself around the room before I take anything out but once I get going, it’s liberating. I do keep some stuff and not others – it depends on my mood. I think I should decide to do one or the other. Sometimes, I use ‘deleted’ lines as prompts.

  5.  by  Nik's Blog

    Ooh, I do like that using deleted lines as prompts idea. Very cool indeed.It is liberating, editing, isn’t it? It’s like something’s been unblocked, I think.Thanks for stopping by!Nik.

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