K is for Kill Your Darlings

22 Jul

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

If you revise with an editor’s eye, you will see those lines you think are gold but for some reason don’t work within the story. You tell yourself, but it’s so cool. Someone needs to see this.  I am so clever. You think it’s the best thing you’ve ever written.

That’s when your critique group starts avoiding looking you in the eye. They want to tell you the truth but they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Instead of enhancing your story, they want to tell you that it sticks out like a pimple on prom night. If you have written for a while, deep down you probably already know it. Now is when you have to be strong. Don’t throw it away; keep it in a file for future use. Who knows, it might spark a new story idea.

Editing and revising is your chance to make it better. If it doesn’t work, take it out. Like a writer friend once told me, it’s only words. You have plenty more where those came from.

Have a great week writing and Sparkle Abbey, have a great week in Anaheim.


1 Comment

Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


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One response to “K is for Kill Your Darlings

  1. Margot Kinberg

    July 22, 2012 at 7:01 am

    You make such a well-taken point about not getting too attached to what one’s written, Virginia. Being willing and able to step back and make sometimes very drastic changes can make a story much, much better but it does take that ability to step back and do it.



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