You've poured your heart and soul onto the page. You've agonized over word choices. You've carefully crafted descriptions and dialogue. Now comes the dreaded red pen and that nasty delete button.
No matter how hard we try to craft the perfect mix of characters, storyline, dialogue and description, there will be portions of our newly finished work in progress that has to go. Sure taking out a word here or there is easy. Fine tuning a sentence or changing what you describe in a particular scene is no problem.
The first time I had to face the fact that I needed to remove a character I was heartbroken. Don't get me wrong, I liked the story much better without the character, but I didn't want to say goodbye to him. I felt like I was killing a friend. It was like a betrayal.
You never really understand how entangled a character is in a story until you have to cut one out. Dialogue, scenes and sometimes whole plot lines have to be removed. When I eliminated my first character, I had to rewrite the whole second half of the book. I felt so bad each time a reference had to be removed.
I do have to admit there are some characters that just beg to be eliminated. I've cringed when writing sometimes thinking about how much I want to get rid of a particular character, but instead I continue the plot. It gets easier the more characters you cut. Sometimes, it's better to delete a character than kill one. I mean sure you can relieve some stress by writing a death scene, but erase them from existence -- talk about power! I have to watch that head rush. I think I might develop a God complex from it all.