They say that good writers are not afraid to murder their darlings.

Or maybe they can still be afraid, but they do not hesitate to murder their darlings.

Okay, maybe they hesitate too. Maybe they agonize and debate, and tell themselves that their darlings surely don’t mean to inflict the harm, the hurt. Their darlings are really good and decent, and don’t deserve to be slashed mercilessly. Their darlings, their precious beloved darlings are just misunderstood. Perhaps they are merely in the wrong place, or presented in a poor light.

No. The only way to deal with them is to hunt them down, stalking the errant prose with cold precision. No mercy can be shown to them, darlings though they may be. The blood of the writer must be like ice water as she brutally slices away at them, letters and punctuation spattering the walls with literary gore, hacking away at the gobbets of story, character arc weakly pulsing as the plot dribbles away and forms a sticky pool on the page. Only then can the writer drop the knife with a wet thud as she takes a shaking breath, dragging an imbrued hand across her face. Then she can kick aside the lifeless meat, and gather up the pieces she can use, the parts of her monster that she is certain can be given new life.

Sometimes the darlings simply must be murdered.


In other news, I realized this week that I needed to completely rewrite the first two chapters of my novel, which is forcing changes to the rest of it as well. Unfortunately, it really was needed, and I think it’s going to be a MUCH better book for the murderous rampage. This will add at least a month to my projected finish date, but I figure that’s better than finishing it up and realizing that it’s wrong.