Does it serve the book? Killing your darlings is a mark of writing maturity

A great article about making difficult choices as a writer — and killing scenes that may be great, but kill the packing of your story.

It’s a lesson I know all too well!

Nail Your Novel

kill your darlings Roz Morris Nail Your NovelLast weekend I was teaching a workshop at Writecon Zurich and one of the issues we discussed was killing your darlings. I used the example of a very precious scene I deleted from My Memories of a Future Life. The full story, including the scene, is here, but briefly, it was inspired by a family heirloom and I was keen to include it. But at each revision round I sensed it repeated an emotional beat, tripped the reader up and made the story stall. When, finally, I swallowed my vanity and removed it, the story ran more smoothly.

I found myself using that same instinct the other day with Ever Rest, which I’m revising. I’m recutting the rough first draft in a more dynamic order, now I know the characters more deeply. I’d planned a funky new use for a scene and was pleased with the possibilities…

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“The End” Is Only The Beginning

Carrie Morgan shares her decision to pursue traditional publishing as part of our Behind The Book collaborative series. The flip side of the publishing coin to my self-publishing pursuit.

Wages of War

When I was sixteen, I got my first real job. My first introduction to the working world of W-2s, withholding and fifteen-minute breaks was as a retail sales clerk for the now-defunct B. Dalton Bookseller. For a teenager whose nose was always buried in a book, it was the perfect first job, even if it did pay only a nickel more than the minimum wage of $3.80 an hour.

I loved working at the bookstore, which was tucked into a busy corner of the old Southglenn Mall in Littleton, Colorado. Being surrounded by books, seeing the new ones come in and handling the stripping or return of older titles that didn’t sell—it was a great gig for a young bibliophile.

That same year, I started to write a book of my own—a long, aimlessly rambling monstrosity called TheFour Horsemen that told the story of a Scottish soldier during Henry…

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