A title and post in which my geekiness shines like a beacon in the night.
As a student and a writer, I love TextPad so very, very much. Not because of its amazingly functional versatility or anything like that.
No, I love it because it is where I store my poor, lost sentences that I edit out of my writing.
Ha! You didn’t know I edited things, did you?
I do. A lot.
I snip out unnecessary or repetitive sentences.
Sometimes, I can reuse them in other places. Other times, the phrases are just left there. Abandoned, the poor darlings; shivering in the bare confines of TextPad’s white space and pale framework.
The problem is that I often like the sentences that I have evicted. I don’t want to simply delete them. I want to keep them, love them, call them George. However, you have to be brutal with words. They’re slippery and treacherous. They can turn on you, without a moment’s notice. To effectively deal with them, a writer must be willing to do what is necessary.
For me that means consigning them to what amounts to the Phantom Zone. A folder full of these snippets, living so close to the full works – and yet denied the ability to join their brethren.
Bereft, they will wait there until I have use for them again.
Call me Zod.
So, I am curious fellow word-dictators: what do YOU do with your prisoners of war? Do you simply execute them? Do you keep them? Does your tax base support the long term support of them? Have they ever attempted a coup?
4 thoughts on “Edit Before Zod”
Mine are executed upon discovery. I figure if they really had some purpose in life, they’ll exert themselves again.
Most are executed. Some get filed away.
Good writer-ly question. My writing prof told us time and time again we couldn’t keep all of our darlings, just those which forwarded the story. Sturm and drang. “But . . . but . . . they’re beautiful!” So, yeah. I get that. Some I keep. Some snippets go into a side folder where they go into hibernation. I think I’ve revived some snippets to put back into a story where they *did* fit. I think it’s okay to keep them to the side like you’re saying. Speaking of writing, cough up your next bit of Thak and the Fat Man story. My fingers are itching to add to it.
I used to save all of the prior drafts. That was a long time ago though. Now, I just hit delete and call it good. If they leave an impression, then they stick in my head and come out later. If not, they were best left resting in peace.