Killing Your Darlings

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?

January Stats

This was a month of editing: totally rewrote one story and started a simpler revision on a second.  Editing drove my words/hours down, but I did achieve the mythical hour a day on average, although I didn’t quite succeed at writing every day.  How was your January?




What Catches Your Attention



Here along the Gulf Coast, it doesn’t freeze very often, so when it does, we all run outside with our cameras to document the rare event. I’ve discovered that icicles make a really nice subject. The last time we had icicles, what caught my attention was the reflection of the trees inside the drops at the ends of the icicles. This time, finding the reflections didn’t interest me. What caught my attention instead was the rim of ice along the roofline.

To some extent, I think that writing is the same way. Even if two writers (or one writer at different times) started with the same story plot, characters, and theme, what catches their attention would be different, and they’d produce two different stories.

What caught your attention today?

The Moon with Jupiter

Driving home this evening, I was struck by the beautiful sight of the nearly full Moon with Jupiter.  With the dynamic range of the human eye, Jupiter looked quite bright while the Moon had some detail.  With the more limited dynamic range of the camera, I could not capture the range.  The picture of the pair below was taken with two two-stop graduated neutral density filters, and yet Jupiter (to the left) is hard to see and the Moon lacks detail. I was pleased with how my unfiltered pictures of the Moon solo turned out. Enjoy!