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But it’s such a good scene!

I whine these words to myself quite frequently whenever I’m writing. Well, more specifically, I whine them at myself whenever I’m trying to figure out why I’m not getting anywhere with my writing. It usually happens when I get done writing this amazing scene and then suddenly have no place to go. The story just stops. I poke, and prod, and bitch, and moan, but nothing seems to work, nothing gets the progress started. And that’s when I have to stop. That’s when I have to go back and figure out what the hell I did wrong. Usually it involves the great scene I just finished writing. Something about it is wrong. Sometimes horribly wrong. And that, friends and neighbors, is when I start to whine.

I mean like, get me some cheese and crackers kinda whine.

See, usually I’m really good about all this. Hell, usually I don’t care about much. But cutting into a scene I just finished…sucks. A lot. I put a lot of work into that scene and tried to get it to flow as perfectly as possible. And sometimes that’s just time wasted.

An old teacher once said: “It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect. If it doesn’t belong there, then get rid of it.” I’ve applied that advice to all sorts of things: jobs, paintings, girlfriends, even furniture. It’s never easy, but sometimes it does have to be done.

So, when it happens, I let myself whine for a little while. Never very long. Then I open a blank word file, cut the entire scene out of the book I’m writing and paste it into the blank file. Maybe some of it I can salvage, maybe I can use the scene later, maybe I’ll just scarp the whole damned thing, but I save it anyway, just in case. Then I go back to my story and start again, trying to avoid whatever false step led me into that perfect mistake of a scene.

If I did everything right the story picks up and takes off, becoming more alive than it had been. Until I screw up again, that is.