Better a good 2 minutes than a boring 5...
But it's such a beautiful piano solo. That theme is worth repeating, isn't it? The director loves this shot! The crew took all day to get it- I have to cut this shot in. My mythical world is so neat that I'm sure everyone will want to read a lot of description of it, right?
And so on.
Whether you're a composer, an editor, a writer, or any other kind of creative artist, it's important to know when to cut- when it's too much.
When you're no longer putting something in because it needs to be in there, but rather because you want it to be in there.
Or maybe just because you can.
DaVinci (I think it was?), when asked how he could carve such great statues, responded thus, and I paraphrase shamelessly: "I simply cut away everything that's not a horse."
So I ask you to ask yourself- is it a horse?
Does it really need to be in there?
Composer- does that gorgeous but repetitive solo fit the arc of your piece, or does it slow it down? (Confession!)
Author- did the reader really have to know all that?
Editor- yeah, it's a gorgeous shot, but please, on with the story!
As I hack away at my piece of the week, Phrygia, I am reminded yet again how important it is to differentiate between the essentials and the accidentals, the wheat and the chaff, the story and the frills.
Trim the fat. Make it meaty.
Cut, cut, cut.
You may just be surprised how much better it is for your efforts.
"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things." - Pr. 15:28