I’m currently editing, with substantial revisions, a romantic suspense that I hope to have ready in a few more months for publication. The story began as a pantser effort, but eventually I tried to rein in the behemoth with some plotting. The result is that I have several story threads that I am trying to keep from becoming too tangled.
Romantic suspense is a difficult genre. You have to balance the romance and the suspense. Sometimes one will take center stage, before you get back to the other, but you can never forget one or the other for too long. Readers have clear expectations when they pick up a certain genre. If it’s sold as romantic suspense, there had better be a romance at the core as the hero and heroine struggle against terrorists or serial killers or stalkers.
I just ripped out a scene because I realized that the suspense had completely gotten lost and the scene no longer had focus. I went back in and refocused on the suspense portion of the plot. It meant that a lot of the emotional feelings that touched on the romance got pulled, too. They don’t work for the scene.
It’s important to recognize that no matter how brilliant our writing, if the scene isn’t doing its job, it has to go or be revised. It isn’t easy to erase dialogue and description that you sweated over. But, if you want readers to actually read your story and ask for more, you say a fond farewell and start over.