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?