So part of Revision 8 will include cutting this subplot.
The thing is, though, as I think about cutting this subplot I realize it eliminates most of Doleful Creatures' original plot.
Is that bad? Does that mean the original plot of the book is bad? Does it mean I've wasted a lot of time writing this book, since at Rev. 9, it's essentially a new book?
No. No. And no.
I'm killing my darlings. I'm just a,bit slower at it than most.
As I thought about it, I realized it all sounded familiar to me. Then it came: The allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, as found in Jacob Chapter 5.
To sum up: The lord of a vineyard of olive trees does a lot of fertilizing, digging, and grafting to preserve the roots of his olive trees, while at the same time working to ensure he gets good fruit for all his labors. He discovers at one point, however, that branches grafted into the roots of his favorite tree are producing bad fruit, and have to be culled in order to preserve the roots and to save the good fruit the tree once bore.
And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard and the servant went down into the vineyard; and they came to the tree whose natural branches had been broken off, and the wild branches had been grafted in; and behold all sorts of fruit did cumber the tree.
That's what editing is: Removing the bad from the good, transplanting in the good, and sometimes culling what's been transplanted because it's threatening to overpower the roots. And sometimes the removal is painful because you remember the good fruit the roots or the branches once produced, and you fear that the tree itself is no good and should be dug up and cast into the fire. But there's always something that keeps you going back, remembering that good fruit, and thinking, "There's still something I can do with this tree to bring back that good fruit."
Revision 8 will continue that pruning, and I'm excited for it.