Anybody who has taken any fiction workshop will hear the following: no matter how well-written a sentence, paragraph, passage, or chapter might be, if it doesn't fit the larger narrative, it's gotta go.
You may not hear it phrased so brutishly. One may be treated to churlishness masquerading as advice, largely from fellow workshop attendees who are there only to flaunt their literary chops or have praise heaped upon their own work:
The writer fell in love with his own voice. (Said snottily)
If you can't kill your "children," then you really shouldn't be in this line of work. (Said contemptuously).
Don't bore the reader with digressions about fly fishing and the protagonist's ex-lover dentist-soldier of fortune named Dirk. (Actually, I would listen to that one).
I have deleted thousands of unnecessary words in my day, but what's much harder for me is getting rid of ideas. I collect them like a compulsive hoarder, never trashing a single thought, no matter if the bulk of them are threatening to keel over and smother me like Homer and Langley Collier. I used to count how many ideas I had for plots, characters or structure, but I lost count after about 200.
I found the blog titles in my blog's "drafts" queue. Some have a few hundred words already; others, none at all. To my horror, I realized that many of them were about not writing, but complaints about the world's indifference towards poor, poor pitiful me.
Worse, I could not remember what many of them were actually about.
So, because I need your help, here is a sampling of unfinished or not-started blog ideas residing in my drafts folder. The meaning of some are obvious, but what about those with no apparent meaning at all?
Care to take a guess? Yours is as good as mine. And if you come up with something clever, I will actually blog about it.
"Being Good Vs. Being Good"
"Less Matter and More Art"
"Honesty is Not the Best Policy"
"Genre Fiction: A Genre I Can't Write"
"How to Not Hold Yourself Accountable"
"Zadie vs. Zadie"
"Write Right Baby"
"Readers, Friends, and None of the Above"
"The Greatest Band You've Never Heard"
"Writing the Bookfraud Way! (Badly)"
And, my personal favorite, the meaning of which is lost on me forever:
I know it was about Samuel Beckett, but whether it was his about his haircut, wrinkles or something about his writing forever remains a mystery.