My writing process contains at least one moment of 'collapse' where one of the key ideas is challenged - and removed from the text - to test the strength and validity of the remaining text. This time it was the main idea of the story of the hero as "The teacher who became a coach, died and went to heaven", This heroic death was especially strong in the opening scene where the hero of the story is planning to end his long life on a wintry mountainside. The hero's death would pass through several hallucinations in which he would speak with several people whom he coached as teens and reflections on his life and what he has learned from coaching teens.
I removed the references to death and dying. I edited the opening scene to be the hero's straightforward preparation for a journey, a day trip to a mountain in the snow.
What remains now is a nicer, gentler story. The hero actually meets on the mountain several people whom he coached as teens and together they reflect on his life and what he has learned. The story is more realistic, more palatable.
And I don't like it very much.
No. I will bring back the 100-page death scene. There is magical power in death that brings the rest of the text to life.
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