“Style, for example, is not — can never be — extraneous Ornament . . . and 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.’” — Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, “On the Art of Writing”
“[K]ill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” — Stephen King, On Writing
1. Instead of killing your darlings, torture them until they compliment your writing.
2. Name your children after your darlings. This is your son, Description Of Ocean At Dawn, and your daughter, Gratuitous Sex Scene.
3. When the Inca Gods come back to rule the world, throw your darlings into a volcano to ensure a good crop. Let the Gods know you aren’t fucking scared of sacrificing your loved ones.
4. Take one of your darlings to a wedding as your plus one. Let it give a toast, which will be overly earnest and run long, of course. Remember this doesn’t mean you’re romantically involved with your darling. But maybe you are.
5. During a Zombie Apocalypse, distract the zombies with the beauty of your darlings. When they eat one of your darlings and you see its bloody guts, cry.
6. Let your darling freeze to death while it clings to the door you’re sleeping on adrift in the ocean.
7. To console yourself about another rejection, buy a hamster. Line its cage with your darlings. Save your soiled darlings, tack them up on the wall, and call them art.
8. Sign your darling up for Tinder or OK Cupid. Let it write its own bio, which will be very poetic but also redundant and filled with run-ons.
9. Happen upon your darling while it’s shopping at a grocery store. Don’t go up and say hi. Watch it from afar for a few painful, prolonged minutes. Check out and leave. You buy only a roll of paper towels.
10. Just go ahead and kill your darlings and then realize you have NO ONE and NOTHING. You’re completely alone. Good God. This was a terrible idea.