When Something is Lost

Sometimes, as a writer, you find yourself pouring yourself into a paragraph, a scene—even a chapter.  And you reach a point at which you get stuck, and you read it over, and you discover that it just won’t work.

This is an inescapable and necessary part of the writing process.  Re-writes, edits, and scrapping whole ideas are integral to crafting something that is the very best it can be.  But do you ever wonder about the chapters and scenes your favorite author might have written before their final draft was published?  Probably not.  It’s a strange phenomena, from the other side.  When characters take on a life of their own, the quick, simple act of deleting whole pieces of their existence can be a sad thing.  As if you are stealing a memory from them, snatching away a part of who they are.

Does that sound melodramatic?  Sure!  But it’s true, nonetheless.  And let’s face it.  All writers get a little melodramatic, sometimes.  It’s the nature of the work!

Sometimes you write something you’re really pleased with that just won’t fit into the vision.  And it’s okay to let it go.  But I think it’s also okay to spend a little time, however brief, mourning the loss.  For an instant in time, that part of your work existed in the world, and now it doesn’t.  Gone, like a wisp of smoke, never to be shared.  How many imaginary worlds have been created and destroyed, crumpled into a wad in the trashcan or deleted with a single keystroke? An interesting thought.  And even… a little sad, perhaps?

 

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