Bringing Darlings Back to Life

I wrote a scene for Heartsong that I absolutely loved. It was the sort of thing that I finished typing it up, sat back and read it, and wondered how the heck I managed to channel a “real” author long enough to get this scene out.

At about my 4th editing pass I came to the heartbreaking conclusion that for as much as I loved that scene, I had to cut it out from the novel. It was beautiful, but a distraction from the story. There were a few little bits in it that helped move the characters along, and I worked those into other scenes. But the scene itself had to go, and it hurt to highlight and cut it out of the manuscript.

Authors are often urged to “kill your darlings.” Depending on the situation, this could mean killing off a beloved character, or in this case, deleting a favorite scene from the book. On the advice of another writer, I have a file on my laptop: Perfect Turns of Phrase. It’s my repository of lines and scenes I have to cut.

It’s my darling graveyard.

And today I get to reach into this graveyard and pull out my beloved scene. While it may have been too much of a tangent for Heartsong, it is proving to be a good fit for Stormsong – the second novel in the Songs of Tarros series. I get to breathe new life into the scene and make it sing once more, and I’m so happy about it I’m practically bouncing!

So now I have one scene ready for you – only 40 more chapters to go!


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