ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Murdering your darlings or being brave enough to edit


It’s a great line, paragraph, idea, beautifully phrased with a surprising, arresting, new image. 

But it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the poem, story, piece.

It’s time to whip out your sharpest knife and cut it out.

Huge sigh.

But your writing will be the better for it. And all is not lost. Save it for another day and another piece of work.

I have an inspiration file of some of my best homeless bits that I dip into every now and then to find ideas for new poems and stories. I try challenging myself to start a piece with some such, or write my way towards one, use it as an organizing principle or a piece of dialogue. The possibilities are endless, just not where I first though to put it.


Gone on, release your inner Medea and feel the burn. It’s called catharsis.