I don’t recall what author advised writers to “murder your darlings,” but at this point, I’m going to commit a massacre on my story.
Oh, it seemed like a good idea: a contemporary take on a familiar fairy tale. I even wrote the first draft, which clocked in at 66 pages.
A bit of editing here and there and as I read what I’d written, I realized that I’d deviated from the original fairy tale so much that it was pointless to even let the characters keep their names or roles if no one was going to make the connection.
In other words, my tale sucked. Big time.
The thought of ditching 90% of the manuscript wasn’t appealing, either. Not when I’d spent weeks writing and revising only to realize that my composition was probably destined for the editor’s trash bin. No, the entire premise had to be rethought.
And people think writing is easy? An idea that sounds great at 2 p.m. reveals its hideous face at the midnight unmasking. A character that seems profound and haunted is soon discovered to be annoying and tedious.
Yes, sometimes we have to “kill our darlings,” if only to save our creative sanity. Not to mention our careers.