Killing the Pirate: The Cutting Pain of Editing a Character from a Novel

This evening, I discovered the ending to the novel I’ve been working on for the past nine years. Glorious. It all makes sense now.

Of course, I also realize that I must now cut a good 20,000 words from the end of the manuscript as they really have nothing to do with the story I am trying to tell.

A beloved character will be lost completely with this dramatic, yet necessary cut. Editing this character out of my novel is like killing a love. He was a love of mine, reimagined for the pages, but real nonetheless. I never see him anymore, and likely won’t ever again. The novel gave me a way to meet him, to spend a little more time in our friendship. To feel again the way he made me feel.

Perhaps I will write him a poem instead. Or simply remember him.

Or perhaps, very sneaky, I will hide his pages somewhere on my website, like right here.



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