This week, I’m pleased to bring you a revision tip from Elizabeth Scott, author of Something, Maybe and Love You Hate You Miss You.
Here’s something I think about when I’m revising that I’ve always
found helpful–it actually comes from Elmore Leonard.
Leonard is famous for saying “I try to leave out the parts that
readers skip,” and it’s really, really good advice. I tend to lose
massive chunks of my first drafts (in one case, I lost 50%!) this
way, but I find that streamlining things helps the story move.
Is it painful to cut out so much? Sometimes it’s agony. Other times–
like when I’ve written ten pages about people eating breakfast–it
makes me very happy.
I’ve heard something similar to Leonard’s advice — leave out the boring parts — and for sure it seems wise to look at our manuscript this way, with our readers in mind. Thanks very much for sharing this tip, Elizabeth!