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?

3 thoughts on “Killing Your Darlings

  1. 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.

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