Sometimes, while I’m writing a first draft, I manage to drop clues for my future self — the guy who’s responsible for turning a glob of clay into a work of art. This morning, while editing chapter 1 of my novel, I discovered just such a clue. In the middle of a long exposition explaining how precocious my main character can be, I actually started a sentence with, “It didn’t matter right now…”
No, David, it didn’t matter then, now, or ever. I cut that paragraph, and three more besides, moving them into a file called Darlings. The result was a much leaner, more powerful scene that cuts to the conflict, rather than simply alluding to action that occurred two years before the start of my novel.
Thank you Mr. Rough Draft.
— david j.