Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kill Your Darling

This topic works well with editing because first draft is not the time to try and let go of a darling, no matter what form it takes. Even second draft is a bit too early. But nearing the end in rewrites and edits, that is a great time to kill the darlings and thus my topic for day K in the A to Z blog challenge.

Kill Your Darlings

What does it mean?
It is a reference to certain parts of a manuscript that the writer (creator) has grown attached to for varying reasons but it ends up not being a necessary part. The part can be a character, phrase, joke, description, setting or other forms within a draft. While it may be a great piece of writing, the love felt by the writer is not as experienced by the  reader who will find the bit superfluous and unnecessary. Think about those long paragraphs of description that you skipped in that book you had to read years ago. It's something like that. While it was good at the time, in that edit phase, sometimes the good sounding needs to go if it doesn't do enough for the story as a whole.

I haven't had too much experience with the full kill your darling concept just yet. While I like many aspects of the stories, there aren't many particular paragraphs, descriptions (pfft, still need to add those), or even characters that need cut that would cause me pain in doing so. I may kill a character some day in a series, my apologies to readers in advance for that, but so far,  haven't had to kill many darlings in edits. But this is my first major edit. Never know what the other novels will need.

Links to peruse:

Have you had to kill your darling? What kind of darlings do you find the most in editing?


Susan Kane said...

I haven't personally killed any character lately, but Game of Thrones sure has that habit.