Saturday, September 14, 2013

Writer Myths: Kill Your Darlings.

Hi folks, I'm continuing my series on writer myths and that is coming up, but first, I've got to mention some egg action. You may remember that once upon a time I chatted about eggs.  It's been a while since I've had an opportunity to mention this fun part of my blog. This week we are near the hatching phase of "egg-dom." So, news is to come!

Now, back to myths. Last week, I chatted about the myth of bad reviews. This week I'm moving on to the myth of "kill your darlings." Okay, it is true that you must often kill your darlings. I mean, most of us remember some relationship that just wasn't moving us forward, and it had to go. Sometimes, we write bland, flat drivel that needs to find the nearest circular file, and that's fine.

But there are times when you need to put down the murder weapon. I mean, killing some of those darlings is a crime or  at least a crying shame.

Here is my story. Once upon a time I was collaborating with another author on a project. I would write an awesome line, and the other author would love it too. Then a few days later, I'd get into slasher mode and ditch my awesome line. Delete.

My collaborator was unhappy with the slashing of "awesome" lines.

I answered, "I can always do better." But certain things slowly became clear. I can't aways do better.

My collaborator was like, "I think you are killing our story, and please stop it."

I learned something I love about writing in that moment. Every story is about a kind of collaboration. You and the reader are sitting by a fire. You are the spell maker; they are the mesmerized.  If you have created magic the first time, just let it be.

Sometimes you will get it right without trying. Don't second guess yourself. Never leave genius on the cutting room floor.

See you next week with more about writer myths, and perhaps a reason to throw a party!

And now for a mythical doodle. This one is called "Pixie."

Finally here is a quote.

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Paul McCartney


Vijaya said...

Oooh, a wobbling egg is about to hatch?!!!! I'm all ears.

I have an egg wobbling too :)

I realized not all critique partners are created equal ... after I killed some darlings I shouldn't have. The nice thing is that I could resurrect them :)

MollyMom103 said...

Ooh! Yay, Vijaya! I have a hummingbird egg. I hope yours is an ostrich. :)

It is so true about critique partners. I somehow always end up with a very talented crowd.

Leandra Wallace said...

How cool, you've found a hummingbird nest? Or did I interpret that too literally? =) Great thoughts, sometimes writers can hunt and kill too much.

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Leandra, not a literal humming bird egg, a figurative one. :) Glad that you dropped by. Seek balance, that I what I think every day.

Tammy Theriault said...

yep! keep your fav darlings right?? lol newest follower, hi!

MollyMom103 said...

Hi, Tammy! Fave darlings may have to shuffle around a bit in the ms, but, yes, you keep them! Thanks for following!

Candilynn Fite said...

Wobbling egg? Do tell soon, my friend. :)

I agree, we don't always have to kill them. Some are meant to be.