What does it mean?

 

 

Kill your darlings.

Almost every writer has been given this advice at one point in their writing career.

This refers to an author’s personal favorite element or their overuse of a certain phrase in their work. While an author may be enamored with them, they might cause readers to retch.

I do agree with this term in general, but I also feel it should be used as guidance to evolve, not as a rule of omission. Your “darlings” are what make you, as a writer, feel alive and passionate. These things define you in style, theme, and perspective. So do I think you should erase them in total? No. Instead, listen to your pets and use their initial attraction to realize a deeper understanding of yourself. What makes them your favorite? What do they represent to you? What images do they conjure? Allow your darlings to develop into something interesting, something beyond the surface beauty that has infatuated you. Chase your darling.

I wanted to create a book review site from the perspective of another writer. I wanted to find the darlings of other authors and bring them to light and perhaps inspire a deeper relationship between author and reader. We all love to gush and pine over our favorite characters, I’ll be the first to admit it, but I also want to provide a reason we might love them so much. I want to explain why a book makes us feel a certain way.

I passionately believe that writers want to create stories to send a message. Their darling message. Writers want you to pine for the reality underneath the front cover, and want to show you how you can have that reality. Writers want you to chase your darling.

Flip the pages with me?

 

5 thoughts on “What does it mean?

    • I personally gravitate towards historical fiction, philosophy, Irish writers, and some fantasy. But I want to spread myself through everything/anything so that I might provide a little for everyone, and perhaps encourage readers to expand. I also want to take care to spotlight independent authors in aid to publicize their book. Being one myself, I can understand how difficult it is to reach your readers without the help of marketing professionals. We rely on word of mouth, and I’ve got a mouth full of words (obviously, haha).

      Thank you sincerely for the compliment and for stopping in -Bec

  1. I had a teacher in high school, when I was a freshman, who told us our words were our babies, and we should never kill our babies. She basically told us to save (and cherish) every draft of everything we’ve ever written. That any words we wrote meant something and we should hold onto them. Of course, this was really before most people had computers, and the way i write nowadays, there really aren’t any first or second drafts. (I just kind of edit as I go.) Her words stuck with me though, and I still have every story and every journal I’ve ever written.

    • This is beautiful. Your teacher is beautiful. When I’m “drafting” I gravitate towards pen and paper and I’ve got stacks of cheap, spiral notebooks under my roll top desk, all labeled by month and year. I read the Artist’s Way when I was in high school and her suggestion to write and not look back for months was one of the best things I’ve ever heard. It’s such a treasure to go back and reread some of my work, tweak it, take it in a different direction, or just enjoy the journey back in time. I’m so glad you shared this with me. This memory will now be stuck in my heart and I will value this sharing very much.

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