I am heading into my fifth and (oh please!) last round of edits on EU* I've read a lot about editing, a lot! I know you must be ruthless, I know you must kill your darlings, I know nothing is scared.
I always thought one thing was, the seed. The original idea that started the whole book growing in my head. The what if?
Turns out it isn't. Keeping it has been the thing that's been nagging at me. The reason I knew EU just wasn't quite right. But I couldn't see it because it was where the book began. Without it how could I have a book?
Then as I plotted out the story arc again. I asked is this necessary? And as soon as I asked the question, I realised it wasn't, it isn't, so it's gone.
Let's hope I called it right this time and my beat readers don't feel an essential element is missing! Of course if I they do I can always put it back in. Which is the beauty of writing, eveything can be undone.
* no it isn't a book about the European Union!