You’ve probably heard it before. Kill your darlings. Murder them, as some say. Inflict violence on those that you care most about. Do bad things to the ones you love.
What on earth is going on? Are writers destined to be violent people? Isn’t writing a peaceful solitary process?
Of course, this isn’t a literal statement. We’re talking about your writing here, after all.
In writing, you must kill all your darlings.William Faulkner
Writers (and fans of writers) have a penchant for drama, as expected. We’d prefer to talk about the writing process in an exciting way, especially when compared to the reality in which we sit in a chair and pore over half-empty pages for hours at a time.
So what’s meant by killing your darlings, and why would you ever do such a thing?