Wednesday, August 5, 2009

'Murder Your Darlings'


This post isn't going to be long because I'm annoyed and the more I think about it, the more annoyed I get.

I just tore out 30 pages of work because...well...I had to. It was painful. Not in a melodramatic sense, but more like "Goddamnit!!!! !@#!@#!@@#$!@#$%$#^%" But I did it because if I didn't, then the story would have gone in a direction completely unfamiliar.

I'm glad I did it, I just hate that I had to destroy all that work. Though in all honesty, I really didn't lose that much work or time.

There is a quote in my writer's 'Bible' On Writing by Mr. King in which he mentions 'murder your darlings' a term coined by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch I believe. William Faulkner also said something along those lines as well.

And I slayed them last night.
It was a bloody...bloody scene. There's yellow crime tape wrapped around my notebook and they took my pen in for questioning.

That's a complete lie of course. But it was almost true.

8 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

I think it was Faulkner who said that phrase first, but I could be wrong. Either way, I'm proud of you! This is a very hard thing to do. Keep up the good work!

Tess said...

Good for you! It takes courage to make it right.

and, I have to say I loved your monkey story. Loved it that you dad would tell you such a fantastical thing...true or not doesn't matter...but so sad that the monkey died at the end. That's what happens when people really keep them as pets. sad stuff. There could be a character in that story for you!!

pss - did you know JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter 1 longhand on a legal pad? true story, but you likely knew it already.

Sun Up said...

I think it was Faulkner too now that I'm thinking about it. But I'm too lazy to change it *LOL*

And Tess, yeah...it was sad in a weird funny way. It's one of those stories you'll never know the truth to. I'm 28 and he'll STILL say it was true.

Oh, and I had no idea J.K wrote long hand! That's pretty awesome.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

so tough. so tough! and i'm looking at having to do it all again for my current WIP!

Sun Up said...

Jeannie, last night I was going through the same thing! I was looking at it again and trying to decide whether or not something fit...and the fact that I didn't particularly like the...flow of things.

Damned tough!

Michelle H. said...

It's the hardest part of the process, in my opinion.

I think to myself, "But wait! I did all this work and there has to be something salvageable there. I can't throw out a complete chapter (which I did once)."

But then I realized that if I have this thought, this indecision, then there really IS something wrong and I need to re-evalute things.

Sun Up said...

Exactly!! It's like...damn...ALL THAT WORK. I think 'hell, I just wasted two days writing crap when I could have been writing something good.' *lol*

Sun Up said...
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