Being a world-builder, I'm always itching to do it. My gut kept insisting that the gender politics needed more explaining... but this is just a short story. You don't have to explain everything. (You don't have to explain everything in a novel, either, but that's a different post.)
|It's been a while since I've used my revision avatar.|
But: that's not to say there was no useful information at all. I didn't want to make a hole or leave readers confused.
What to keep
Before cutting the scene, I looked through it for:
- new characters met
- first descriptions of people or places -- a subset of world-building, true
- character arc moments -- questions raised, answered, realizations made
- plot developments -- usually the scene's being cut for a lack of these, but check for them anyway
- essential world-building -- see below
None of it was essential? Correct, because this is a short story. I was only introducing things that would be seen later, in my case. Were this a novel, that could be given a little leeway. This is a short story that's already on the too-big side, though. The reader can meet these details as they happen during a plot-relevant moment. Anything that doesn't happen during a plot-relevant moment isn't strictly necessary.
What to do with them
So I had a handful of scraps that I needed to work into someplace else. I went looking for:
- relevant conversations, or ones that can be steered toward the topic
- descriptions at more relevant moments that could be expanded a bit
- if there'd been new characters to meet, a better place or possibly drop the character entirely