"Kill your darlings." Although author William Faulkner said it first, he's been quoted many times.
For the past couple of weeks I've agonized over three particular chapters in my novel. After reading and rereading them I realized that while they might entertain the author they did nothing to pulse the main story forward.
With all the research that went into writing and constructing the scenes it was akin to contemplating the murder of a cherished child. Nonetheless, convinced I'd made the right decision I heaved a self righteous sigh. Then I highlighted and sent the discarded paragraphs to another Word document. With a knowing smile I deleted them from the manuscript.
My darlings? The reader will never miss them.