Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Ahh, bullets, terrorists, and long walks along broken glass. I find it almost impossible to sing the real lyrics of the song and always find myself singing Sgt. Al Powell’s much improved version. Everyone with half a brain, and good taste in films, knows the real line is “dum de dum…delightful’ not “but the fire is so delightful”.
You can’t predict what are going to be the stand out lines or scenes in your book, and you shouldn’t try. If you think you’ve stumbled across a perfect paragraph or flawless character speech…you’re probably wrong. Who knows maybe you are that good and it is perfect, but more likely than not you’re just giving yourself a self-congratulatory pat on the back.
I am the greatest!
No, you’re not.
You know the old adage – let’s all say it together – MURDER YOUR DARLINGS!
Now this doesn’t mean write something good then delete it (it also doesn’t mean grab a kitchen knife and slit your loved ones throats – phew, was that an awkward night!). Murder your darlings means you write without bias towards your super-mega-ace writing ninja skills. You can’t look at Chapter One and say “this is perfect!” just because you wrote it (and you are the greatest!) – you have to sit back and look at your writing objectively. Is it really that good? If this were someone else’s book and you were reading it for the first time would you still be as impressed? Come on, be honest now.
It’s not up to you to decide the memorable moments of your art.
“I’ll be back,” was supposed to be a throw away line in ‘The Terminator’.
“Here’s Johnny!” was adlibbed by Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’ not penned by Kubrick or King.
You need to write the book to the best of your ability and let others make the decision on what they love the most.
Make all of your work as dum de dum delightful as possible.
And somebody fetch me a Twinkie.
p.s. short post because it’s 23:45 and I’m in panic mode.
p.p.s phew – posted at 23:57