So sometimes, there’s this thing that’s a part of your book. You think it’s central to your book. It’s been there from the beginning, after all, and it’s one of the things that drove your writing, even as so much else of the book changed from one draft to the next.
And then your editor says, “That thing, I think you should take it out.”
So you take a deep breath and you give it a try. You take it out.
And it comes away cleanly, and the story is still whole once it’s gone, and you realize you didn’t need it after all.
And you wonder how it is you didn’t know, until now.