No, I don’t mean we ought to kill people or small animals. It is a saying in writing circles. You kill your darlings…
The parts of the book that you work so hard to get perfect and instead you have to cut them to make the story flow.
In Here Be Dragons I had a phrase that included –
Hedge peerers and wall peakers. Curtain twitchers and gate starers.
I loved those phrases.
And I mean love.
As I deleted them from the book, I cried just a little, but I stored them away. At the end of this month I have got to give an academic paper in Swansea University. What has this got to do with anything?
Well, I’ve dusted off the phrases and popped them into the paper… No really. It is about stories and how we find them, how we write them and if historical novels are just history or more.
I should mention that the PhD is a historical novel (it involves a mental asylum in the 1800s).
But the important bit is that the phrase is in use! Loving it. Just hope it makes it to the final draft. Remember to keep those darlings you kill. They might just come in handy