Internet Resources for Writers

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Thursday, April 18, 2002

Wielding the Scalpel: What to Cut From Your Story

Nancy Kress' excellent article "Wielding the Scalpel: What to Cut From Your Story" can be found at the newly-revamped Writer's Digest Web site.

Kress gives examples of cutting for pace, cutting redundancy, cutting over explanation and more. The article ends with "Two final caveats

First, none of these guidelines for cutting applies to dialogue. Dialogue characterizes as much by form as by content. If your character is a repetitious person who over explains, perhaps from pomposity or insecurity or loneliness, let her dialogue remain uncut.

Second—this must be said, however reluctantly—some very successful books are badly padded."

This link can be found in the HodgePodge|Writers on Writing subsection of

Internet Resources for Writers