We've all had to do it. As writers, it's a given. Letting go of some of our favorite scenes.
It's difficult, but at the end of the day we have to have a critical eye for our own work, and make the tough decisions. As much as we may love one scene in particular, we have to think to ourselves 'is this doing anything to further the plot and keeping the reader engaged, or does it mean something to me and only me?'.
I did a lot of cutting this weekend. Thanks to some great feedback (shout-out to Molly and also Melanie). I'd been putting off changes for a while, possibly because I'm lazy, or maybe just plain scared of the work I would have to do, but once I started it became easier. My story used to be over 128,000 words (ugh!) and it is now sitting pretty at 100,388. It's still high for YA, but oh my gosh, it's actually less than my projected number. It feels good. The story is tighter, it flows better, and is now officially in the YA category. My characters started off in the middle of their senior year, with the story ending after their first semester in college. I had multiplepeople tell me that it might be a bit too old for YA. So, I went back and changed the timeline, which I'm sure you can guess, required many other changes throughout the manuscript. Hence the reason I was putting it off.
One of the reasons I saw things more clearly is because I haven't worked on Fire and Ice for a few months and I had fresh eyes. I know you've heard it a lot, but put your manuscript away for while, let it rest, give yourself a break, and when you get back you'll be able to spot those problematic areas. I'm glad I listened to the advice and faced my fears. I'm not completely done editing, I'm going to do one more sweep before feeling comfortable enough to send it out. But my manuscript is closer than its ever been before and that's both exciting and oh so scary.