You might have heard the phrase “Kill your darlings”. Stephen King said it in his On Writing, but it’s also been attributed to several other authors. Perhaps the first to use it was Arthur Quiller-Couch, who spread it in his widely reprinted 1913-1914 Cambridge lectures On the Art of Writing. In his 1914 lecture On Style, he said, while railing against “extraneous Ornament”:
If you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”
It’s a phrase I agree with completely. I’ve written many, many pages only to subsequently strip them from my books. Sometimes I put them aside in the belief they might “fit” somewhere else, but of course they never do.
Until now. I have decided to include some of them in this section of my Blog – work that still carries a resonance with me. Each Post will provide a very brief background, and then a scene deleted from a published work or, in some cases, never published at all.
Make of them what you will, these my dead darlings.
The Dead are Different: Opening Chapter
The Red Hill: After the baths – deleted scene
Breaker of Bones: Jorge and Esperanza
This was meant to be included in Breaker of Bones but in the end didn’t really fit anywhere. I like it because it reveals a little more of Jorge’s nature, and also his feelings about his eunuch state. It also shows some of the attributes he ...
The Red Hill: The attack on Helena