The Fall 1975 issue of Paris Review featured an interview with novelist John Steinbeck. He won the Pulitzer Prize and was a Nobel laureate, and The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men are still required reading in many English and literature classes. I'm sharing six tips from that interview (culled by the excellent Brain Pickings blog), with a few additional comments by me. This is number five of six:
"Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found out that it is out of drawing."
I'm not familiar with the phrase 'out of drawing,' but I know what he means. This is the same advice as "murder your darlings." A scene that stands out may be wonderful in itself but by standing out it detracts from the rest. This was also mentioned in the tips by Kurt Vonnegut that preceded these posts. It hurts to do this, but do it we must.
(There's more advice on writing, from Jane Austen through to Martin Amis, in Your Creative Writing Masterclass, published by Nicholas Brealey and available from your favorite bookseller. It makes a great present, too.)