The veteran novelists will tell you new kids that writing a book is like childbirth. First, you'll conceive an idea. Then it will form into a baby as you write. And then, after a lot of effort (and some discomfort)
You'll give birth to a baby novel.
After that, you take a knife to it.
You see, your baby novel's arms will come out of its ears and its mouth will be in the center of its forehead.
And... well... it's head is going to face the wrong way. Unless it has two...
It's your job as writer to make sure that everything goes more or less to where it's supposed to.
"But that's an editor's job," some of you new kids are grumbling. Yeah. I know. I can read your mind...
But the thing is, I hope you have a lot of money. Because that editor charges you for every draft. Unless they tell you to send in a polished draft in the first place.
And no, editors at publishers don't acquire books that'll take long to fix. Don't even mention agents right now. Us vets will only laugh. Somewhat hysterically.
Therefore, making your baby presentable is your job. And sometimes, doing so is incredibly difficult. You might have to remove whole story-lines. Or cut out some of your favorite moments. Or even characters. Or you know the character trying to hog the lime-light? You might even have to make him understudy.
You see, sometimes, there are moments in the book that's so wonderful, that you'll have to take them out because the reader will notice you in the writing. Those feel like you're ripping your book to pieces.
And you'll have to do it. Because the story as a whole must be more important than any of its parts. Otherwise, it just won't work.
One highlight at the end of this bleak picture, though. Or maybe two... It tends to get easier with practice. (Especially if you manage to get some distance from the story before editing.) Also, the rewards of a good editing round are amazing. Because if you do it right, each round of revisions and edits (and there are many of them) will bring your book closer to what you envisioned in the beginning.
Who loves editing? Who hates it? What's the thing you had to cut out or change that absolutely broke your heart?