Murder Your Darlings

Murder Your Darlings

It has been said by many people many times before. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch probably said it first: “Murder your darlings.” William Faulkner said: “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” Stephen King felt it had to be said thrice: “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” At the beginning of every year, I like to have a little sort out. Sometimes its clothes, sometimes its books, but it’s always my ideas. January comes around and I go on a rampage. 


I write down all my ideas. They live in various places such as note pads, scraps of paper, newspaper articles I have found particularly enraging. If I’m truly passionate, they get their own notebook and more research. Some are still one sentence on the back of a receipt. But when January comes, they all get the same treatment. I look at them and consider them; do they still have something to say today? During the time it has festered in my ideas box, has someone else written it before I can? Am I still enraged? Do I give a shit? If I am no longer passionate about the idea, it is discarded. Harsh but just. 


I have a lot of ideas and I need to prioritise, as you can see from previous blogs, I’m not the fastest writer; I’m also prone to extreme procrastination. Even before actually writing this blog I was watching Zero Punctuation; a games review with a fast talking host and hilarious metaphors. I haven’t heard of any of these games or even play games but I love Yahtzee. I went to check if I’d spelt his name correctly, I watched another! I’m awful! So if I had 1001 ideas there’s no way I could write all of them, let alone have them worth the paper they are printed on.


I’m also a believer in the timeless. Like the Greek greats and Shakespeare, they are performed today because they are relevant today. Despite advances, we still have dickheads in position of power, and plays that challenge that will always have something to say. As will tales of love, betrayal and revenge. I’m not saying any of my plays will be at this standard. When I’m dead and gone, I doubt I’ll be the subject of loathing because school children have to study my writing. Although, that is the dream. “What did the playwright mean when she said this?” I dunno, I was high on coffee! There is no deeper meaning, good luck you little shits. I don’t know if this has been encouraging, what I’m basically saying is: not everyone will love your darling as much as you do.


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