Yesterday I was reading the wonderful, juicy loose stories of a novelist who depicts the 1970's in her writing. I asked several questions, wanting to know more about certain scenes. “Oh. I had more in there. But I took it out,” she said. Several lines that were risky, personal, heartfelt observations - these were deleted. “Why?” I asked.
“I’m not sure. Maybe I didn’t want other people to read them. Some of it I thought sounded stupid.” In many cases, her first instincts were to be trusted. But she jumped in too soon, making judgments.
You can keep from overediting your work by: Taking plenty of time between the writing and editing process. Before you edit, ask: Have I said everything I wanted to say? Have I put down all the meat and bones of the story?
Treat your first draft like a beloved houseguest - one who isn't going to settle in permanently, but deserves a warm welcome.