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