A common piece of editing advice I see all the time is :
Kill off your darlings. Don’t be scared to remove chunks of your work, even if it feels precious to you.
And I say; don’t be afraid to keep chunks of it, if it serve a purpose.
I say if it’s a passage that’s you have been told you don’t need, but it is really hard to part with, try using it somewhere else. Don’t destroy it or erase it. You won’t remember how you worded it weeks or months later. And besides, it was you who created it. Clever, witticism, deep profound paradigms aren’t as easy to come up with as they seems. It’s your darling. Treat it accordingly.
Save it, so you can enter it later in your piece of work or if you are doing a series; use for another book.
Remember, it’s you the writer who is dreaming up the manuscript. Not the editor. No one knows exactly how it goes except you.
Don’t merciless butcher your work. Remember, you are writing a novel, painting a full mental image not a creating a pamphlet to sell a timeshare.
Ok, if it was unimportant it wouldn’t be called a darling and, you, the author wouldn’t have put it in manuscript. Quite contrary to belief, most writers seek to use as little words as possible. Some scenes are difficult to bring to life with a minimizing of words.
I often see slain darlings throughout novels and it leaves a novel with more holes than Swiss cheese and the editor try to fill in all the gaping holes with emotions. Readers can detect when something has been removed.
Don’t do it.
Don’t try and plug the literary holes with a bunch of whining and crying, falling and stumbling. Emotions are very important to build a crescendo but too much and many outbursts drags a story down.
Edith Wharton in The Age of Innocence is a good example of why you ‘don’t‘ kill off your darlings. Why would she need to have gone into some depths to display many different sides of her characters? I mean these were just a bunch of self-serving American aristocrats but she gave her readers a full dose of her darlings with the opening scene of opera setting and seating. Who sat where and why. The importance of the seating paved the way for the rest of the story. It told who was influential and who were not. Who would cause trouble, refusing to conform, and who would be passive.
Another thing, most modern readers expect the darlings to be killed off. Don’t do it. Surprise your readers. Most readers feel they can predict the end of most novels. No matter how well-written, most readers find that their darling is going to die in the end. Spice things up. Give your readers a surprise ending they were not expecting.