Monday, November 3, 2014

Lessons



"In writing, you must kill all your darlings."

Faulkner said that, and he knew a thing or two.

My book is taking so long to write because I kill everything except my darlings. When I unearth a darling in a chapter -- something that seems quite lovely but unattached, apart from the topic or subject matter at hand -- I train my rifle on all the words that have come before.

When I finish this book, I figure what we'll have are eight darlings and 30,000 corpses.

17 comments:

  1. As someone once told me: be not afraid,otherwise u will never know...in your case, what's the worse that could happen?

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  2. Only if killing off a darling moves the story along in a meaningful way....

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  3. Right, Ms M; I'm working hard to lower the body count. I've put a few darlings up for adoption.

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  4. I want you to write it. Whatever it takes. I try not to kill anything until the second draft, not even the egregious stuff. Okay, maybe that.

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  5. I never knew writing could be so violent.

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  6. Bellis, Flaubert said, "Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." Not that if he told me to jump off a bridge I'd do it.

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  7. At least you're writing your book; that counts for something. You can always kill off the darlings during the second draft, so the body count will be 30,008. And then you'll suddenly discover that you're catering to the teen to 20-something male demographic.

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  8. Oh, I didn't really kill the lot. Some are wounded, yes; but I think I'm practicing a form of word triage.

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  9. I do my best to keep my darlings safe. But sometimes after a day or two -- or three -- away from the writing, some of the darlings fade in importance.

    What a quote, though.

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  10. I do my best to keep my darlings safe. But sometimes after a day or two -- or three -- away from the writing, some of the darlings fade in importance.

    What a quote, though.

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  11. Just great that you are writing your book!
    I agree with West Coast, write first, edit later.

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  12. Alternative idea: Kill nothing. Separate all your little darlings, swaddle them well and put them in a nursery labeled All My Little Darlings [to be published later as an anthology]. Then proceed with the other book. Of course that's easy for me to say. I'm not trying to disentangle a book from life/experience/observation/imagination. Forge on, O Karin.

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  13. Dead words walking! Dead words walking!

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  14. So then, it's going to end up being a Zombie book?

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