“… take one step closer / to solving a riddle / it echoes all over the world”

Every book I write, I keep a file of deleted scenes as I move from one draft to the next. I imagine those scenes are there so I can grab them if I need them after all, and very occasionally, this does happen–though more often, I go back to the previous complete saved draft instead if I need to weave something back in. The purpose of this file really to save the words, because I do keep all my old drafts, too.

It’s to give me courage. Cutting a scene forever, that’s scary. Cutting a scene and pasting it into another file, even if it’s a file I might never knew, and knowing the deleted words are just a window a way … that’s not nearly as frightening.

Files full of outtakes and stories-that-almost-were and stories-that-never-were help me clear away the words that need clearing away to get at the story-that-is.

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