Today I was transferring purses. I'd gotten a few new ones and I needed to take the stuff out of my old one and put it in the new. Since the new purse was slightly smaller than the old, it became a game of filling it with only the absolute essentials: wallet, phone, meds, lipstick, and store cards. I made it work, and tossed a lot of things I didn't need as well.
It got me to thinking that editing a manuscript is much the same. Often we cram whatever we can into the first draft, but then later pare that down to only the essential elements needed for telling the story. The over-written prose goes. The endless lines of, although well-written, description detracting from the plot go. Even those just-for-fun scenes often times wind up on the cutting room floor.
And what we're left with is a polished story that can shine when it's not weighed down by all the extra stuff we don't need.
Until next time,