Every once in a while, writers need to trim the fat from their manuscripts. The reasons behind this are numerous: word count's too high, story doesn't flow nicely enough, too much info dump going on, yadda yadda yadda. But one reason that can be really frustrating is realizing that a subplot isn't working. No matter how hard you try, the darned thing just keeps getting lost in the trenches, or confuses the bejeezus out of your betas.
Wanna know what this reminds me of? Only the worst night of my life.
Chris Evans came to Puerto Rico to shoot the upcoming movie, The Losers. One of my friends told me, but I didn't think that I would ever get to see him.
One night, while I was out with my friends, I. Saw. Him.
I lost control of my knees. My ears throbbed like there was no tomorrow. Everything was a blur.
After one of my friends shook me so hard I thought my brain had rearranged itself, I decided to ask him for a picture with me (everyone around him was doing it, so I thought it would be okay). Problem? I didn't have my digital camera on me, and since it was really dark in the nightclub, my phone wouldn't do the trick. So I asked my friend, the only one with a camera, to use hers.
Other problem? Some douche slammed right into her, and the camera fell hard on the dance floor. When my friend tried turning it on, it didn't. The screen went black and the buttons weren't doing anything. It. Just. Died.
My friend tried to comfort me by suggesting I just go talk to him, but what was I supposed to say when the music barely let me hear her???? Plus, I'm very shy when it comes to attractive men, and I had zero guts to walk up to him. So there he was, standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, and I let him get away.
So there you have it, friends. Your manuscript is a camera, meant to capture everything with precision and a style all your own. But when the camera stops working, you have to let that untaken picture go. Subplots are always tricky, but some mesh very well with the main plot. Others don't, and that's okay. You'll realize when to trim and when not to, especially if you wholeheartedly believe that the story you're telling deserves to be the best it can be.
That's the beauty of being a writer--giving up on your dreams is not an option. Letting go of what doesn't work surely is.