I received some feedback from an agent friend of mine a couple weeks ago and have been doing a lot of work revising the manuscript in question lately. However, when I got to the part where she suggested I cut out any words not vital to the story, I stalled. Kill my precious darling words! What did she think I was, some kind of murderer? Luckily, I did eventually take her advice and start hacking–and discovered that it was actually pretty awesome.
There is nothing quite like the sudden lightness and that comes from removing clunky words, dusty paragraphs, and in some cases, entire chapters. It’s like spring cleaning but without the dust or lower back pain. My manuscript is better for it, and I like to think the words I let go of have also gone on to live better, happier lives.