Archive for June, 2013

Don’t Kill My Darlings

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

 William Faulkner famously wrote, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”  This inevitably raises the question: what iswoman with gun meant by darling?  There seems to be general agreement that it doesn’t mean mass murder of your favourite characters (although, that can make for interesting plot twists as followers of Game of Thrones can attest).  Some suggest (for example, talkingquid.net) it means doing away with writing “that ou love beyond all reason”.  Such writing is apparently “wrong”.  Others interpret it to mean sticking to writing that is “succinct”, “concise”.  The proponents of this view tend to favour the mass murder of all adjectives and adverbs.  Personally, I have never written anything that I “love beyond all reason” but I’m still flummoxed as to what I’m supposed to do if I happen to favour a piece of writing that, in my view at any rate, is pretty spare.  Murder any remaining adjectives I suppose (so please delete “pretty” from the previous sentence). Others more compellingly suggest doing away with writing that is too clever, too self-conscious.  What it really amounts to, I think, is doing away with writing that serves the writer’s ego rather than the story. 

Hmm, so where does that leave blogs?