The One with My Ni-Ni

I don't really watch Toddlers and Tiaras all that much (because, frankly, it usually just gives me a serious case of the sadz for the children of tomorrow), but my mom wrangled me into watching the premiere last week because Makenzie was on. This, my friends, is Makenzie:

(This is from an old episode, by the way, not the most recent. She pretty much acts exactly the same, only she has even more sassy sayings and facial expressions.)

Makenzie is obsessed with her "Ni-Ni," which is what she calls her pacifier. In the episode that aired last week, her mom compared it to an adult being addicted to cigarettes by way of explaining why, at age four, she was still so obsessed with it and having these epic meltdowns when she couldn't find it. I'm sure most of it is that she uses it as a "safety blanket" to calm her nerves or settle down, but I couldn't help thinking that, at age four, she really needed to break the habit.

And then, I realized I have my own version of Ni-Ni.

See, I'm doing some last-minute edits on BLACK IS THE COLOR before my agent sends it out on submission later this month. Most of these edits are edits I should have made in previous drafts, but couldn't bring myself to either because I loved the original scene(s) or because I disagreed with the direction the editorial comments would have taken the story or characters. But now, I really can't avoid cutting anymore. I can't avoid deleting some of the dialogue I really like, or playing up the love triangle, or condensing the first half of the book. People, you would think the world was ending by my reaction to some of these changes.

I worked in Editorial for over a year--I know its unrealistic to expect to turn in a manuscript to anyone and not be asked to make changes--but I'm clinging to some of these scenes like they're lifejackets. I don't want to let them go because I like them, not because they necessarily enrich the story. In fact, most of these scenes only bog the pacing down, but damn if I am not sighing dramatically or whining to my parents or Anna about having to cut them.

I am being a brat this time around, yes, but I'm always--always--worried about unintentionally cutting something that a reader loved and responded to. So it's not so much that I disagree with the feedback and suggestions, but I'm trying to psych myself up out of this indecisive state and using that as an excuse for keeping my Ni-Ni scenes around.

So if you've got revision blues and are struggling with the agony that comes with killing your darlings, just know that you are not alone! Published or not, there's a little pink princess four-year-old diva inside us all, and some habits are harder to break than others.

Life, WritingAlex2 Comments