I've heard many times that you have to be willing to kill your darlings. You have to be willing to take things out of your story that aren't working, even if you really, really like them.
Today I found out how much that hurts.
For six drafts of my manuscript I hung onto a certain subplot, even though I knew from the beginning it probably wasn't going to work. I finally had to let it go. It was messing up my pacing, cost over ten thousand words, and really wasn't necessary to the story.
But as I watched all that gorgeous prose lie there, cut off from the rest of the manuscript, writhing and bleeding syllables as it slowly died, I realized it had been the most beautifully written part of the book. I cared about it more than I cared about any other part of the book, and so I had poured my love into every word.
Can I learn to love the rest of the book as much as I loved that part I had to kill?
Give me a few days to grieve, and then I'm on it.
What's the hardest story decision you've had to make?