I was wasting some time on youtube today and ran across this little bit of advice from freddiew.
Remember, with editing the only thing that matters is the movie as a whole. It doesn’t matter how “cool” the shot is or how hard it was to get–if it doesn’t add anything, it doesn’t belong.
This is as true for writing as it is for movie-making. The one difference is that, in writing, it’s a lot easier to re-purpose something cool that doesn’t belong provided that you save it. I cut stuff all over the place when I’m editing, and sometimes it’s stuff that I loved when I was writing the first draft, but it just didn’t fit. In cases where I think that the piece being cut is still good, I copy it into a folder full of “murdered darlings,” so I can reuse those good bits at a later date. I bet film-makers wish that they could take an awesome, difficult shot that had to be cut from one movie and splice it seamlessly into another one.