It started from this awesome exercise I picked up on throwing up words:
You’ve just found out you have to submit the first five pages of your newest novel to the administration of an elite Writing for Children and Young Adult MFA program.
Find everything that is good about your work. Smile. Bow your head modestly. Think, “I am brilliant!” Now set those pages aside and start the beginning again.
The flavor can be the same–as it is going on the other 421 pages of your novel–but what you should end up with is a New Beginning.
I LOVE cutting things wholesale from my writing.
I know, who says that?
I think it comes from being a playwright (back in my more glamorous performing days). During workshops or marathons, I had to remove entire scenes and churn out new dialogue overnight. It's a great way to learn how to kill those darlings.
Most people fear the blank page. I LOVE it. It's a new start. I can forget about the crap I wrote before that weighs me down with parameters and character traits hastily written.
FYI to everyone out there: Cynthia Leitich Smith writes a first draft of a book. When she gets the whole draft completed, she presses the delete button and the novel is GONE.
I’m just saying.