When I would hear editors say, "Trim the fat," I never really understood what that was all about. Did that mean I would have to cut out part of the story? Would the world and characters I created be compromised? I admit before I started the rewrite, I was terrified of over-thinking it. I stressed myself by worrying about what I might have to cut.
Now, though, as I continue to work on the novel according to the advice of the editor, my eyes have really been opened. I'm only 1/3 of the way in and I have already cut out about 3,000 words. That's a LOT of fat trimming. I can see now where I was repetitious and how I used words that didn't have to be used. And now that I'm getting the hang of it, I'm so much more pleased with the novel than I was before and I didn't think that was possible given that I was already in love with it to begin with.
You ask, though, isn't your story being redirected into something different? Not at all! The story is being built on the same foundation just minus the sticks and hay that can cause a collapse of the entire structure. I'm so excited to learn what trimming the fat really means in writing and I'm excited to share it with all of you.
On a side note, it's important to take an editor's feedback to heart. If an editor takes precious time to provide feedback and do some sample editing, embrace it. Their intentions are only to help. If I hadn't been open to learning, I might not have learned this important element of my writing and I might have continued to be in a rut.
Now, on with writing!