By Darvell Hunt
Stephen King said that some of the best advice he has ever received with a rejection letter from an editor was to cut his writing by 10%. “Kill your darlings,” he said.
Yeah, well, that’s sometimes hard to do.
I once had to cut a story that was published in Irreantum magazine, the official publication of the Association for Mormon Letters. My editor for this piece made many suggestions, most of which I followed, but the hardest suggestion to implement was to cut the unnecessary bulk.
I gritted my teeth, pulled on my best writing gloves, and proceeded to weed my story. It was a dirty, messy job, but in the end, I reaped the benefits of a cleaner, tighter story.
I concluded that Stephen King was right; however, being a writer myself, I figured I would give his advice in my own words, which are these:
Weed it and reap; if you do, your target audience—which just may include your future editor—won’t read it and weep.