Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I confess, I'm a cold blooded killer...

Yeah, that's right. I just killed our darlings. About 6,000 of them to be exact. Hmm...I guess technically that makes me a mass murderer.

Laura prefers to call it a lipo for our work. And there is something satisfying about the imagery of sucking out all the fat that's bogging us down, to create a skinnier, hotter, cellulite free manuscript. But there's something a little sad about it too. There are some darlings that I just didn't want to kill...

But, they died for an honorable cause. I'd even give them medals of bravery if I could.

So tell us, have you killed any of your darlings lately? Feel free to post an obituary in the comments.

16 comments:

christine said...

I have deleted and rewritten so much on the WiP, that despite weeks of HARD work and about 15K in new words, my word count is virtually unchanged!

ElanaJ said...

I've done it before. A lot. My biggest chunk was 95 pages, over 25,000 words. They just sucked. So I killed them. It was carnage. Carnage, I say! But the MS actually worked without them.

So slay on!

Icy Roses said...

I cut 71,000 words. I cut my entire first draft and started over. It's pretty painful, but I prefer to think of it like a phoenix. Something better is born from the ashes.

Christina Lee said...

wow good timing- I just chopped up my beginning all of yesterday b/c of an agents feedback that my beginning was too slow to get to the meat of the story- it made me sick to my stomach- but I also knew what she had to say made sense and was true. ughh!

Loretta Nyhan said...

Oh, man. I cut an explanation of how my character got her name. I slaved over it, tried to squeeze the paragraph into a dozen different chapters, and ultimately let it go. It hurt, though.

I do,however, believe in reincarnation when it comes to darlings. They aren't really dead, just in some kind of purgatorial holding pen, waiting to be resurrected in a slightly different form! The bedazzled gavel will rise again!

MeganRebekah said...

Word Lipo - love it!!

I've deleted way, way too many words. Mostly the ones that I first wrote and needed to be freshened up a bit.

Still LOLing at the lipo :)

Suzanne said...

Sad and yet liberating. I tend to like that part of the process... but I write horrible things, so killing is in the blood, right? ;)

Little Ms J said...

As much as I hate doing it, I feel liberated after I've just deleted whole paragraphs. It is like breaking up with someone. You know it isn't working out for you, you keep thinking about how they pick their nose, that glaring tick, whatever and then you finally look at them and say, "I'm done." Thankfully they don't stalk.

That would be weird.

Kelly H-Y said...

That's so hard! And, I have to admit ... I've kept a draft of the original ... just in case I want to go back and get any of those 'darlings'! :-)

Abby said...

Good for you! When I finally felt like I was done revising mine, I had cut close to 30,000 words. A traumatic process, but so awesome when it was done. :D

Sarah said...

The first draft I just finished would say I killed it by writing it, which probably isn't far from the truth. We did a little burial last weekend. Nothing fancy or big. Just a holy shredder and a few close bags of trash.
I suppose I should feel super sad about this, but I'm not. Not even a tad remorseful.
He is in a better place now, where neither my keys or red pens or words of hatred can touch it.
Perhaps a time will come when it can be made new and alive again, but it's hard to say.

On a more serious note, I commend your bravery in performing lipo on your WIP. Nobody likes to own up to being so shallow, but you have to admit, hot, thin, cellulite-less WIPs are so much better.

Kimberly Derting said...

I leave for a few days and it's like a bloodbath around here. Or a spa. I'm a little confused. But definitely inspired (post SCBWI) to do a little killing/slimming of my own!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, drives me nuts, too. I write up what I think is going to be a good post, and then, when it's done, realize it sucks and toss it.

JennyMac said...

I thought I did a smashing job editing my first manuscript. WRONG. I had interested agents but all came back with same concept:great work but committing same mistakes all new writers do. UMM, what are those mistakes. I am sure they are related to editing. You would think I would have it down pat but easier to edit things I didnt create. You must have tips...do tell.

Jenna Alexander said...

I wrote a short story once that ended up around 4300 words. Nearly everyone reviewing the draft said “Are you going to get to the point already?” or “There’s a whole lot of NOTHING happening in this one.”

So I chopped about 1100 out of the first half. The end was ok as is I guess.

It turned out pretty good so I guess whacking and hacking can be a good thing.

Now – have you tried to ADD to a story? That was hard for me.

jessjordan said...

Way to go, you mass murderer, you! It's always hard to kill the ones we love. Sigh ...