Murder Your Darlings Or Just Rehome Them?

I was thinking yesterday that it was about time I got round to a spot of editing, I usually like to leave stories a few weeks before editing them and the one in question was finished just before christmas. I guess I got carried away with my current writing project.

The thought of editing got me thinking though, how do other writers edit?

Personally I always like to open a fresh document and save it as “cut outs.” Then whilst I’m editing when I come across a sentence, phrase or  paragraph that I want to keep, but know deep down it’s really got to go,  I cut  and paste it into the cut outs folder. I feel I can be a lot more ruthless this way, it’s not so much ‘murdering my darlings’ as rehoming them.

I’ve been using this system for a long time now and I’ve got to admit, not once have I ever took anything out of the cut outs file. I still feel better though knowing they’re saved somewhere.

What about you do you have a system or a special way of editing that you swear by?

5 thoughts on “Murder Your Darlings Or Just Rehome Them?

  1. I do that too! It’s a great to have a ‘just in case’ file. You might find that you will take a look at all the cast off sentences one day and be inspired to use them elsewhere. ^^

  2. I do cut and save in that way when making big changes in case I change my mind, but only rarely do I put the section back in.

    When editing I start by making a few obvious changes, such as correcting a few spelling mistakes, as a warm up for those harder decisions.

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