Kill Your Darlings


How many of you out there have heard this phrase before?

If so, do you practice it? Why or why not?

For those not in the loop, here’s a good site that sums it up:


I like the phrase, though I think I go the opposite extreme. I’ll behead my darlings unless they cut the mustard. And the bottle is rather thick.


Can you rephrase that? I don’t understand anything of what you just said.


By that I mean I tend to underwrite, and kill character to quickly. Granted them being dead is kind of the point. But heads up.


Did you read the link at all? The phrase has nothing to do with killing characters.


I didn’t know there was a distinction. But I was referring to the words. Remind me not make puns on here.


Anywho, I’ll attempt to summarize it for you.

“Kill Your Darlings” is an editing technique where you remove everything from your story that is not absolutely necessary for furthering your characters or main plot. (e.g. extra characters, subplots, flowery prose, etc. etc.)


I know what it means, it’s not like it wasn’t beaten over the head on Twitter.


Yes. I did this with Lost Memories. TPK got changes because of it. Calin get the ax for it and this is what I’m considering for Ori’s current story.


Have you found it useful?


Yes. It got me to create Alice, and I might be stuck with her story, but it’s the furtheest I’ve gotten with that plot in a while. Axing Calin was liberating for the story. It led me to realize I could use my Alana in a different story and create a new MC for her old one. LNA is up in the air, but I have to decide soon.


Well, good luck.


Thanks. Ori’s been bugging me the last few days.


I try not to if I really don’t have to LOL but if my books (the whole 2 of them I’ve edited) are well over the word count for potential publishing, then I really evaluate all the things I love and if they truly serve a purpose. For my rough drafts, I don’t care. I write them the way I want to write them.


That makes sense.


@Prisim I second this. You can’t see it at that stage anyway, I don’t think.


Yup. Unless you’re a total plotter you really can’t say for sure what darling should die and which should live, so don’t worry about it as much. But if you’re having trouble editing down to a publishing word count, then it’s try to look very closely at that darling.


I think I might have to try killing some darlings once I have a complete draft again.

But then again, I’m not trying to get published, so what’s the point? :rofl:


I already have in mind stuff to axe on my rewrite. Including one who char that needs to go.


I had never heard of this before… but now I am so glad you mentioned it! I definitely need to kill my darlings :persevere::persevere: