This became extremely clear to me this weekend when I had a conversation with Janice, the publisher of Lucky Press LLC. Janice is considering my debut for publication, and as a part of her decision-making process, she likes to ask a few questions to get a feel for where an author's head is at.
Anyway, she said that she thought my beginning wasn't very strong. "Ok. No problem," I said, "would you be interested in seeing my original beginning, which is like a prologue, which I got told to cut by every single editing professional on the planet, but which I adored and which stung incredibly to cut?" I didn't say it in those words, but you get my drift. Janice said, "Sure, send it along!" So I did. And you know what? She replied after reading it saying that she really liked it. SEEEE!???? I should have trusted my instincts! I loved my prologue. In my opinion it was the perfect introduction into my protagonist's mind, but everyone told me it wasn't necessary. To cut it and just jump straight into the action.
So, this is the lesson, folks. Get your professional opinions, listen to them, but do not lose sight of your own vision! Go with your gut. Because your gut speaks the truth!
Have you ever been advised to cut anything from your story that deep down you thought you should keep? If so, what did you do?