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Writer problem #42 Killing your darlings

Published by Corbyn in the blog Corbyn's blog. Views: 262

Writing Tanglewood has marked a lot of firsts for me. It's the first time, I've had multiple POV's from more than two character's in a story. It's the first time I've written in first person for more than one character. It's the first time I've had a plot to go on. Not just a novel idea, but a full on fully thought out plot. It's the first time I've been able to do a lot of world building and not gotten bogged down. It's also the first time I've had a character that's so memorable, that everyone likes them, and I kind of do to. Which brings me to the topic of this blog.

Killing your darlings.

I believe it was Stephen King, in his book On Writing, who said don't keep your darlings, kill them. Or something to that effect.

I've never been able to do that in my fiction before. I've tried to before, but that particular character at the time was a trickster and managed to get out of all the fun creative ways I tried to off him. It made me really hate him for it... But I still have people ask me about that character to this day.

In the case of Tanglewood, I have a very memorable character, who will be dying. I know this character is going to be memorable because it's one of the few that I don't have to think about. He's just there. Like an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. I just see him, clear as day.

Because I feel this way about that character, I know he has to die. But I find myself dreading killing him off. I need his death to mean something, not just for the story, but to be as epic and out there as he is.

Because of that, my nano word count has suffered a bit. I'm off by about 200 or so words a day, and so I'm a little behind. Why didn't I just skip that step and get on with another chapter? Because I knew if I did that, I wouldn't kill him off. I'd try to get him through to the end, and that's not what this story needs.

So, tonight when I get home, he must die, and the story must go on. I'm just going to have to buckle down, and make myself do it.

So yes fellow writers, Stephen King is probably right. Kill your darlings, but make it count.

-Write on! -Corbyn
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