The Shining, Redux
I know this is 3 years old, but it is Brilliant and worth showing again.
Robert Ryang entered a contest run by a post-production house where assistant editors were to take any movie and cut a new trailer for it — but in an entirely different genre. Mr. Ryang chose the most famous horror movie of all time, “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. Look what it became in his hands.
The reason I'm showing it here is because I think the editing process for writers can be so similar. You cut and rewrite and cut and rewrite, continually changing it until sometimes you have an entirely different novel or story from what you conceptually started with. Sometimes it's good and the changes are better, but other times you go too far and you need to go back to the original idea. I find my revising process can be a minefield if I'm not careful. I recently cut out 15,000 words from my WIP and now the tone is different, the pace is different. So far I think it's good, but when does it become too much? When do I need to be cautious of the delete key? Editing is an art. (See above trailer to confirm this.) But when is too much editing, well, too much? I don't know and hopefully I won't end up with a product so different from the concept of my original idea. It is a balancing act and I am trying to be careful of that line right now.