Adding vs. Cutting

Comments: 4


Now that I'm back from Nebraska after seeing my new granddaughter (and she's a beauty), I'm going to get back to talking about writing.

My latest idea of how to help Sweet Revenge is that I've decided to keep it in the '60s. But it's not a romance, as some have tried to tell me. It's actually a coming of age novel with a love story embedded. To those of you who remember my earlier versions, it used to have two love stories -- Mark and Genie's and Gary and Kathy's. To get the novel down to a reasonable size (around 70,000 words), I had to cut most of Gary's story and a lot of other stuff including entire chapters, but now, after eliminating the first two chapters, I realized I probably have room to put some of Gary's story back in.

BUT!!! If you think cutting stuff out of your novel is hard, try adding that cut stuff back in after the novel has gone through a few revisions. It's tough!!! A lot of the old stuff I'd cut out doesn't fit any more.

I say tough, but not impossible. I need to revise those cut passages to fit with the revised story line. It will take some time and a lot of patience, but I think it's working, just slowly, especially since I only get a few short hours per week to work on it.

So wish me luck. Eventually it will work.

In the meantime, GERTA! is still simmering on the pot.
More on:  , ,

About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, October 09, 2008

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


  1. I really have been wondering about Gerta! That story really grabbed my attention. I'm glad to hear that you're back and that you got to enjoy your new granddaughter. Congrats again! You sound full of spunk and ready to work some magic!

  2. Thanks Rene'. GERTA!!! (I'm going to change the title again by adding two more asterisks) has changed a bit, and I’m working on it too, but I’m concentrating mostly on Sweet Revenge. Maybe I’ll post some in my private forum at Razor’s Edge.

  3. I've never tried adding stuff back in, but I can imagine it's hard. It sounds like you've got a good feel for what your story needs and you'll have the tools to sharpen the story and get it the way you want.

  4. Hi Tristi. And thanks for your comment. It's always good to see a published author is responding.

    This story is many years old. I began writing it nearly 22 years ago and I knew then what I wanted it to have in it, but due to word count constraints I had to sacrifice a lot of the sub plots. Now, with my latest revision, I realize I can probably put some of that old stuff back in, but like I said, its not easy.