A few weeks ago I wrote 3 chapters of a story that were 3 chapters away from happening. Stayed up all night - did the dual-burning candle thing. I remember how excited and accomplished I felt the next morning. Then a few weeks later, when I finally got round to completing those 2 in between chapters, I suddenly realized that those wonderful 3 chapters I had already written - as wonderful as they were and as excited and accomplished they made me - did not belong to the story. ---snip--- Ever had your tooth pulled without anesthesia? Believe me, it didn't hurt as much as deleting those chapters. (You see - I had to delete them. If they had stayed on my hard disk, they would have haunted me). I felt like I had murdered my babies. Which, in a sense, I had. So I throw the question to the audience - how do you feel when you realize that that perfect chapter isn't part of the story you tell? When you realize that those lines of repartee belong to another setting? Or the finer details of one of your best-written duels are actually distractions to the overall plot? When do you know how to cut? How do you cut without bleeding to death? Do you bleed at all? Or do you not cut but leave the gratuitous chapter/dialogue/action sequence in even though you know it's more of a cancer than a boon to the story? edit 6/6/06 This thread is concrit friendly. That means you can post an excerpt you feel needs editing and ask other participants for advice. Now to clarify the terms excerpt and concrit, I will borrow from ophelia's very clear definitions in the "Concrit Index" thread. Excerpt: An Excerpt is an unposted draft of a story, not a work that has already been posted on the story boards, or that the author considers to be in its final state. (Exceptions would be when an author had to post something they weren't quite happy with because of a deadline, or when a fic had a surprising and disappointing reception, and the author wants to know what might have gone wrong.) The major goal of a workshop is to prevent disappointing reader responses by suggesting revisions before a story is finished. Because the focus is on problem-solving, the excerpt ought to be a "rough spot" that the author wants to work on--not a part the author really likes as it is, and has posted in a misguided attempt to gain new readers or to get positive feedback outside their story thread. For lack of a better metaphor, a workshop excerpt would not be the teaser/trailer GL would show a test audience in advance of a film release. It would be the rough cut he'd drag Stephen Spielberg in to look at, and say, "Steve, I hate it. Why does this suck so much?!" Answer: "George, it's Obi-Wan's beard. It's gotta go." Note: On this thread, links and titles of excerpts are not allowed. If you want to post an "exception" (as described above as an already completed work), please PM me. Concrit: "Concrit" is an abbreviation for "constructive criticism," or what we in fan fiction refer to as "beta-reading". In this thread, if you post an excerpt that you want people to take a look at, let you know if it's still relevant to your story or needs to be Snipped, then the other thread posters are permitted to give their respectfully worded but honest opinions about that, as well as where the post needs Snipping and what needs to be pasted in. Finally, this is a workshop thread i.e concrit-friendly. Posting an excerpt on this thread means that you expect and demand concrit. Not every writer is rightfully interested in this and there are other ways of participating in this thread e.g. horror stories sharing. DO NOT post an excerpt if you are not willing to accept concrit on it.