Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings

By Kimberly Jensen

"Kill Your Darlings" is a piece of writing advice given by horror writer Stephen King in his book "On Writing-a memoir of the craft." I devoured this book and found it as entertaining as I did useful. I have read many books "on writing" that give sound advice on sentence structure, adjectives, character development and such, but none have the "in your face truth" that Stephen King gives on the craft. He says he has never once written a word with the intention of making money. That's easy for a guy to say who recieved over $600,000 for his first novel. But he does give good and entertaining advice, morbid as it may sound. By "Killing Your Darlings" he means you may love your work, be passionate about your story, but it really is a sticker, if you look close enough at it and from an objective point of view. You can still love your "darling" (story) but it's time to kill it and move on. Do you have any darlings?


Kammi Rencher said...

This is a great comment, Kimberly. Publishers love authors who think this way. As an author and an editor, I've seen both sides of this situation. I know how hard it is, as an author, to let go of something you love and move on to something else, but I also know how important it is, for your relationship with the publisher and your success as an author, to be objective and flexible.

Shirley Bahlmann said...

I read and loved that book, too, but you've got to see past all the swearing. He does have some unique advice in there. I have to wonder, though, if he never wrote a word to make money, why did he submit to publishers? I remember he had a lot of rejections.
Another piece of advice I remember that I utilize is writing with the door shut.
Thanks for posting this gem of wisdom! It's great to be reminded.