Editing: Can a Scene be Too Powerful?

Edits, edits, edits.
They can be so monotonous.
Until you hit a section that needs some careful rewriting. I had a section like that, but not because it was bad, believe it or not. Well, I suppose it was bad, but in a good way. Confused? Let me just tell you what my editor said about chapter 8:

"This scene is so well written and real, that even in chapter 13 and beyond, the reader has a fear that ... when she unlocks the cabin door, when she gets the phone call, when something's happened to **** ... I wonder if the chapter is too powerful ..."

Sorry I had to leave some things out, but you get the picture. We can't hand out major spoilers, so let me just say it does a writer's heart good to be told her work is "written so well" or its "too real" or "too powerful". In essence, my editor is saying the I have drawn the reader into the story so deeply it makes for uncomfortable reading.

Is there such a thing? Well, yes. I've actually been on the reading end of such books, so I know it can happen. Regarding "Finding Beth", I edited that chapter just today and I think we found a way to reassure the reader without taking them out of the story. I hope. We'll see what my editors thinks when I return it to them.

What about you? Have you ever read a book that was so intense you had to put it down? Tell me about it.


  1. Talk about a way to build suspense for people to read your book! Isn't it coming out soon?!

    1. LOL! Yes. Soon, Katie! November or December is the schedule. No set date yet, but we're getting closer. :D


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Linnette R Mullin