You may have heard the saying ‘kill your darlings’. It sounds pretty awful, and not something that Christian writers would do!

But… sometimes we may have to.

What does it mean?

Even if we have written a careful story plan, we may sometimes find that a plot point, or a character, a scene, or a paragraph of dialogue, does not need to be there. It hurts… but it may need to be CUT (killed, even though we’ve grown fond of it, having spent hours writing it ). Ouch!

Why should you do it?

Every word in your story should be there for a reason. If it’s not:

  • moving the story forward
  • helping readers get to know the characters
  • serving a useful function

it should GO.

When you should do it?

Sometimes, as writers, we can get carried away with an idea for a scene, or think adding a particular character would be fun. But why? The big question is, are we adding this because we’re enjoying writing it, or because our readers will love it and need it to make sense of the story? If it adds nothing to the novel, it needs to DIE. Sorry!

Think of it as clearing your garden. All the weeds and brambles need to be dug up. Some of them may have attractive flowers, but they shouldn’t be there. We need to get rid of everything that is in the way of seeing the beautifully kept garden.

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing

Do you have any darlings you need to kill? Sometimes the job just has to be done, however painful!

Let me know how you get on!


Kill Your Darlings
Share this: