Don't kill your darlings.

On the long list of “widely misunderstood writing advice that causes apprentice writers endless problems” (a real list, I swear), “Kill Your Darlings” might be the most oppressive entry. I have seen apprentice writers interpret this to mean that they should go through their work and take out everything about it they particularly like: characters they are attached to, turns of phrase that seem to them particularly apt. Clever dialogue and striking description and nefarious plot twists, all gone under the axe.

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