ReWriting Principle: Kill Your Darlings
Stephen King's formula for producing a second draft involves cutting 10 percent of it in order to improve the pace of the text, meaning you must cut parts that you personally really like.
Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggest cutting to speed the pace, and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings)...I got a scribbled comment that changed the way I rewrote my fiction once and forever. Jotted below the machine-generated signature of the editor was this mot: “Not bad, but PUFFY. You need to revise for length. Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%. Good luck.
Being willing to cut your favorite passages and your favorite programming solutions are an important part of both rewriting prose and refactoring code.