Killing Darlings

I’m not certain who first coined the phrase that writers must “kill their darlings” but I find myself staring down the barrel of my proverbial gun today. With my shelter book finally completed – yes, that only took me all of COVID and then some to finish – I am on to the next project!

Or, projects, really.

For the entire month of May I have opted to work on Story Bibles, Outlines, and World Building for the Werewolf Wedding novel and Tango Five, the third installment of the Tapped Series.

For my dear, lovely readers who have showered me with their love of Enemy Souls, I thank you. And I am deeply grateful that the book delivered a satisfactory story! This was the second installment of the Tapped Series and I am excited to be working in the science fiction realm again, preparing for the third novel. And, as I often do, I have begun reading the series from the first book onward, taking notes to reference technology and character development.

I do already have a vague story bible written in respects to the Tapped series, but I have found that nothing prepares me better for writing the next book, than reading the ones that came before. I’m not sure how other authors who work with series of novels handle this portion of the process, but this is what works for me. Even if I do cringe sometimes, recognizing that I have learned so much more about the craft of writing since the first book was published.

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So where does Killing Darlings come into all this?

Well, for the Werewolf Wedding novel, if you must know. For fans who have been following along this whole time – by the way, I love you all and I hope you keep reading and adventuring and reading some more – you will remember a novel by the title Melody of Bones. Also known as my dragon novel.

After a great deal of debate, I have decided to kill this novel. It is, in fact, a little darling.

A two-plus-year darling that I have nursed and attempted to sell and simply gotten no where with. But the really cool elements of the novel fit perfectly into the story I am telling with Nora Grayson, and I know that both stories will be told better by doing a Dr. Frankenstein move and piecing them together.

Does it hurt?

Yes.

Egads, yes.

I love Prudence Alturas and her tragic tale as an exiled dragon.

But if I do this right, I’ll get to tell her story better than my first attempt.

So here is me, pulling the official trigger and killing off a darling. I hope to have a new draft completed by the end of July, with several more novels waiting to step up to the plate.

For my fellow authors out there, I hate to say it but… they saying is right. Sometimes we really do have to kill our darlings.

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