HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO LEAVE OUT WHEN WRITING A NOVEL?

Old Sam's Blog

A question came in following my last post asking how one decides what should be left out of a novel. I thought the answer deserved it’s own post. Here goes, with the full disclaimer that you are reading the thoughts of a writer who has published only one novel and no formal training as a writer.

To begin with, it ain’t easy and I’m sure literary greats would cut my method to pieces. I added the last sentence to illustrate the first of my deletion methods. If I read over my work and find that deleting a sentence doesn’t subtract from the whole, I cut it. BUT! If the sentence foreshadows something that will happen later in the manuscript, Ill leave it or if I’m not sure foreshadowing is necessary, I’ll leave it. Certainty comes in the multiple rewrites that take place as the story unfolds and I might forget…

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