All was going so well. I was speeding ahead at the rate of one chapter a day, sometimes even managing a couple, and then it stopped. Full stop.
I don’t quite know what has prompted this. Although if I had to guess, I’d say it is the next chapter… the one awaiting revision. It was my favourite you see. The one I loved to read and reread, the one that captured so beautifully the atmosphere of the entire novel, through both description, dialogue and inner life. It was my darling.
And now I have to kill it.
This is the stumbling block. I had no problem cutting everything else, mutilating, transforming, rearranging, and then cutting some more.
I say that I’m revising, but what I am actually doing is rewriting the entire novel. I have changed it beyond recognition. If you could see my printed out volume — the one I have taken the red pen to — you’d understand what I mean. There are whole lines, dialogues, pages, chapters gutted out. I have gutted it out, without mercy. Revision hat well and truly on.
But now… here I am, wavering.
I know I have to go ahead and cut it out, or rewrite it at least, so that it may resonate with all the changes the narrative has undergone so far, but my fingertips retract from the delete button. Rebellious.
What do you do, when you have to kill your darlings? How do you do it?