Those of you who are novelists reading this will probably be able to relate to the joys and sorrows of revision. In revising and rewriting my young adult novel, Fact of Life #31, I realized I had to lose a favorite scene. It was a long scene, over several pages, and I loved it for its beauty and insight and how it showed my character’s growth.

And that’s why I had to lose it. Having such a powerful, moving scene at that point in the story deflated the final scenes. Oh, the agony. But also the ecstasy. Because it’s truly wonderful to recognize when something needs to go and why it needs to go. And I was able to use some parts of the discarded scene in the final scene. Putting these bits in with different characters really energized and transformed those later scenes. It was a moment of pure joy to have it come together like that.

I love writing. The discovery of it. The surprise of it.