Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Murder She’s Talking About

No, don’t worry, not real murder. Although it might seem like that sometime right about now for those out there working on, or behind on, NaNo. [You don’t have to do show of hands.}

I readily admit I am not doing NaNo this year. Not because I don’t believe in it or because I see no use in it. I just didn’t have the energy to write anything let alone tackle NaNo. After a while there’s only so long you can put off and ignore things you have to do, need to do, should do. At some point you have to cook meals that someone is going to eat, even if they help with cooking, there’s still the preparation, cooking, and clean up. Not to mention all the clothes washed, and worn again. And all the rest of the ‘fun’ stuff that has to get done / be done, and all those Happy Holidays breathing down on us fast. I just couldn’t deal with all that this year. Something had to go. This year it appears my brain at writing. Got up and left at some point. Which brings me to the Murder of the title. Although I am having a tough time writing anything, even darlings, the other person that lives in the household with me apparently has no trouble, and he is doing NaNo for the first time this year. Maybe he’s the one that took my create writing brain cells….. Hmmm…. No, I’m not contemplating murdering him to get them back. Doesn’t work that way. Er, does it? Just kidding.

I have writing friends that I think are tackling NaNo. Although, since I’ve not heard from them and am assuming they are…..

But one writing friend has been notified that their short story is going to be published…. but what about rewriting the first part, says the editor. Well, actually, cutting the whole first part and starting down on page 2.

Writer’s have different feelings about this. Some are - ‘so, what are you waiting for? You are going to have a piece published, what’s the big deal, just do it already.’ Other’s resist.

This is what writers often refer to as killing your darlings.

Maybe because I’ve been of bombed out state of writing not even shuddering through the shells of burned out stories, I’ve found a sudden curiosity in Killing Darlings. [The killing the dust bunnies hasn’t captured my attention very long.] Never heard of people divorcing darlings but I’ve often done that - just in case they needed love later in the story, kind of thing. I mean, Kill? That’s pretty drastic.

But interestingly as I was half-way mulling this writing mayhem I came across a site I had not been to before. The Bad Penny Review. Okay, so yeah, I had to stop and look just for the title. And then I got into looking at a section they have on Killing Your Darlings. Spooky, strange, how things like that happen, huh.

Interesting what they have to say about the different authors and some of the revisions, the Killings, that have taken place in famous works.

Especially this one - Murdering Your Darlings: Writers’ Revisions - that’s talking about The Great Gatsby.

“…..Usually, we think of revision as making qualities less abstract, more clearly defined, but this example suggests something more complex: that the real trick is in discovering precisely what the story demands—even, as in this case, if it means a slight pull back in focus to deliver it.

And that, perhaps, is as accurate a description of revision as anything else, but as we shall see with other authors, a story can have an absurd variety of needs.”

Well, that certainly clears things up about Murdering Your Darlings, huh? But it is an interesting concept to think of discovering precisely what the story demands. Guess I should read more about Killing Darlings to figure out the who, what, when, and where. Just like in a real detective story perhaps.

So how do you determine the answers to those? Is there a sure fire way you know those answers?

Those that are taking a break from NaNo - get back to it, you don’t even think about this until after you finish.

And take a break and a drink first. After all the first step will be determining which is a darlin’ that has to go, and which one you just haven’t discovered what the best qualities are and where to use them.

Just divorcing them for a while, Right?

So what do you do? Is your best way? Do you just flat out murder?

How do you go about that?

Have a routine? A style, a m.o. …….. ???

I’ll get the big spotlight if I need to.

Just let me know.

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