Murder your darlings.

Quite a jarring statement if you haven’t heard it before. Never fear: It’s a writing thing.┬áSir Arthur Quiller-Couch, a British journalist, critic, novelist, and professor gave the following advice:

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it–wholeheartedly–and delete it before sending your manuscript to press.┬áMurder your darlings.

When I first heard it, I thought it meant I was supposed to make my writing bland and generic. So I ignored the statement. Who wants bland writing? Continue reading

Humility. And Squid.

Writing can be an exercise in humility. When I first set out to write my current story, I was overwhelmed by ideas. The story haunted me for two years before I set anything down on paper. I had so many ideas crashing around in my head
that any attempts at writing an outline failed. I’d end up writing whole pages of dialogue and descriptive scenes.

Wow. Big problem for a writer, huh?

I know. I promise I’m not whining.

That comes later.

Where was I? Too many ideas. I decided my problem meant I needed to just write the thing down already. I ignored the advice given by so many authors, and I abandoned outlines in favor of writing unencumbered. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Continue reading