As readers here know, I do not consider myself a writer. Maybe one day a year during the Dzanc Write-a-Thon to help try to raise money, but I don't sit down daily creating worlds. So when it comes to theories about writing, I usually am in the dark. I read something the other day though that has stuck with me and seems to be a great description of at least part of the process of revision. It comes from the preface of a liimited edition book by Robert Coover--The Water Pourer.
The Water Pourer is a chapter that had been removed from Coover's debut novel, The Origin of the Brunists. The preface seems to be an explanation of why such a chapter might exist and within the preface comes:
And maybe it's just me, again the non-writer, that reads it this way--but to me there seems a huge level of bravery as a writer to both a) realize and then b) act upon this idea. That while these events, these people, these backgrounds, all come into my mind as I create this world, and have even committed to putting them down on the paper I write upon (and back then it would have been paper), the realization that my readers would not need them; that the book I want to give them would be better without them.
I imagine that there's an attachment to every word, every idea and especially every character committed to in those first drafts. I love that last line though: "When I ask him to leave, I discover that no one else in the story has noticed he ws there."