There’s a phrase used in writing that you have to “kill your darlings”. I don’t think that means that if you like something, you should automatically cut it. What I do think it means is that if something isn’t working for the story, even if you love it, you have to cut it.
While editing my current WIP, I realized that I was letting the main character off the hook in the middle of the story and that the tension died at that point. The way I let her off the hook had some funny lines that I really liked. I didn’t want to cut them. But I did. And it worked—the tension increased.
Are you willing to kill your darlings?
I’ve killed a number in my writing. It is often hard to let go of what I think is clever dialog or situations.
Sometimes I try to move the funny dialog somewhere else, but often that doesn’t work out.
I’m finally learning that I need to be absolutely bloodthirsty in regards to my darlings, thanks to my slapdash planning style. The upside is that I’ve recently been cheerfully mining whole scenes I yanked from one novel for use in another.