I feel as though half of my manuscript is missing. Logically I know this isn’t true, what is missing was cut from the manuscript long ago to make the story flow better. I could add those deleted scenes back into the story but it would defeat my purpose.
The most common reason I had for cutting a scene was that it didn’t take the story down the right path. In other words I had written myself into a dead end and the only way out was to backtrack, cut the scene and re-write it.
Another reason (not so common) was that the scene didn’t belong in that story. This is the alien theory and it could in fact be a terrific scene, but if it doesn’t belong in the manuscript you should remove it. It’s always a good idea to keep scenes like these in your idea folder.
Where to next in the editing process? At the moment I am taking notes of structural changes that need to be made. This is the point where you decide if scenes need to be cut or added, it’s the edit that finds the major things that need changing. Things like spelling and repetition of words will be picked up in a line edit later on.