Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Advice to Writers: Diana Athill

You Don't Always Have to Murder Your Darlings

You don't always have to go so far as to murder your darlings—those turns of phrase or images of which you felt extra proud when they appeared on the page – but go back and look at them with a very beady eye. Almost always it turns out that they'd be better dead. (Not every little twinge of satisfaction is suspect—it's the ones which amount to a sort of smug glee you must watch out for.)

I have always wondered about this. It would make me so sad when they would kill my favorite characters! PC Cast is one prime example! I love House of Night but everyone kept dying. Same with Harry Potter. No one has no idea how upset I was with Sirius and Remus dying in the books! I was all noooo! Let Pettigrew die not them. I was upset. I began to see a pattern in the books I was reading. What went through my mind was why do authors have to kill the main characters, can't they simply have them just leave the book peacefully? I really can't kill people in my novels because then I begin to cry while writing it, and rereading it over and over again. It really depends on the writer, but I would not kill a character unless it was a full fledged battle scene.

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