Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Work In Progress Wednesday!

Kill Your Darlings!

The voices in my head yelled this phrase while I was editing last night.

Me: Hmm, this sentence has lots of adjectives and a simile that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Sure is pretty, though!

Voices: KILL! Kiiiiiiill!

Me: I love comparing things to hands and fingers, but I've already done it a couple of times. Maybe it's getting old?

Voices: Cut the fingers off!

Me: Wow, this description of the trees is beautifully written, but I think I said the same thing a paragraph back.

Voices: Burn the forest down! Fire is PRETTY!

Me: Oh, no. No, I love that dialogue. What does my crit buddy mean by "it doesn't make sense in context?" Noooo!

Voices: Do it! Duct tape his mouth and throw him in the river!

Needless to say, although frightened and queasy, I acquiesced to the voices' demands and Killed My Darlings.

It was tough. Tougher than in a lot of my other edits because this time I'm down to the nitty gritty and am forced to make brutal decisions. It's down to the wire.

Garrote wire?

No! Shut up, Voices!

Aaaanyway, this week I've slashed and hacked through about 40 pages, and I have 56 more to go. Wish me luck!

Any progress to report this week? How's it going?

Were you forced to commit murder most foul to any favorite words?

"Kill your darlings."--William Faulkner.


Steph said...

bahahahaha I LOVED this post!! No, I haven't killed anyone off... I have an idea for a new wip were one of the main characters gets killed off fairly early and I'm actually super excited to start writing it, but so far, no, I haven't written anything deep enough to require death! ;)

KM said...

I used to have an obsession with participle phrases and gerunds. *sigh* I still love them, but I had to give them up in a general since. I also really like adverbs and blocks of adjectives, both of which are forbidden. Really, I guess I just like flowery fiction; I've had to cut entire scenes and rework to get rid of the floweriness. But at some point, it ceases to be painful and becomes sort of liberating. :)

Annie Louden said...

I have also only been deleting this week, but believe me, my words aren't darling.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oh yeah, I've definitely killed some darlings. I actually have been going back and forth on killing one particular paragraph in my first chapter - I'll highlight it to delete, and then hesitate and un-highlight. Then come back to it again and go through the whole ritual once more.

Maybe I'll just have to transplant the poor thing in another story down the road;)

B.J. Anderson said...

This cracks me up! Lol, yes I love to kill the darlings. Great post!

beth said...


I can't decide which I like more--your evil voices, or that creepy picture!!!

Yunaleska said...

Your twitter comment summed up your thoughts most accurately! Yup, I can kill :) It's quite satsifying!

christine said...

Mwahahaha! One of my crit buds and I talk about this...So fun, SO fun...

ElanaJ said...

I love this peek inside your editing head. It's brilliant! Keep on killin'. It's worth it in the end.

Anonymous said...


I love your post! It made me laugh and think of my own WIP! I know sometimes I get in the mood to just be evil--that's where my 'dark' side come in and a short story is born!

I am on my way to post a blog on my progress cause there's so much to tell!

Great news on yours though! Keep going girl! Let me know if you need a Beta!

Abby said...

This is awesome! Glad to know I'm not the only one who talks to myself when I write (or do anything). :D

I know it sucks slashing those lovely words, but the finished product is so worth it. Yea for you!!!

And what is this progress you speak of? I don't understand. ;) I've written less than 500 words over the last two weeks. :( And it's not even because of writer's block. I just need to figure out a way to add like five hours to each day.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

LOL! Great post! Yep, I killed 95% of my darlings in my first WIP and busy rewriting it. I have favorites sayings myself that I catch coming up in while writing. They get slashed pretty quickly. :)

TereLiz said...

Yes, I recently had to be pretty ruthless with my revision of Evangeline. But it makes for a better piece of writing.

Darlings are first draft brain droppings. They don't do anything but muck the place up. Don't fall prey to how familiar they are to you, they're still droppings!

Good to know you've made it through the cullings alive! ;)

Rebecca Knight said...

Hahaha, thanks you, guys! I'm glad to hear we are all Evil Murderers of pet phrases and other Unnecessary Things.

Tere--"first draft brain droppings" cracked me up!

So true, guys. Keep at it, and good luck to everyone! Thanks for the support :)!

Michelle McLean said...

Hey there! I left a little award for you over on my blog :) Happy Weekend!

Rebecca Knight said...

Michelle, you are amazing! I'll share the love later on this week :D. You rock, and thank you!