I'm writing a novel in three parts, and I was passing through some revisions yesterday when it occurred to me that I'd written myself into a corner.
My dilemma: excise seventy-six pages, or one paragraph.
It's funny how that can happen, but the problem became perfectly clear to me while I was out on a jog. In the case of this narrative, the text in question really shifts the tone. If I keep the focus on the plot and the action, then those pages go. If I stress the exposition and flashback to build a character bond, that throws an abrupt halt to the pacing.
What kind of book should it be?
Thankfully, because of the beauty of the words processor, I can cut the larger passage and maybe save that for a stand-alone novella. I'll write it both ways and test it out with readers.
Though I have an inkling of which way I'd like to take it (lean and mean and filled with spleen), I haven't come to this particular conundrum yet in writing a novel...