I’ve been going back through my manuscript and looking at anything that isn’t quite right. I’ve been really picky, sometimes changing just one or two words, sometimes changing paragraphs. I’ve realized something as I’ve gone through that I think is critical in the writing process: It’s good to put down your manuscript and come back to it later.
I’ve seen so many things I never saw before. I can’t count the number of times I’ve decided to cut a scene altogether, or to combine it with another one. The first few times through I was just getting the story in. I wrote everything that came to my mind — scenes that were just fun, conversations I imagined had happened, everything. This time, I’ve really wanted to make sure everything has a reason, that everything moves the story forward in some way. Sometimes it’s hard. There have been scenes I loved that I cut. They just weren’t necessary. And as hard as that is sometimes, it’s part of the process, and it makes the manuscript better and tighter.