Tags: killing your darlings

Fireworks Delight
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Writing Excuses 12.3: Project In Depth, "Risk Assessment," by Sandra Tayler

Writing Excuses 12.3: Project In Depth, "Risk Assessment," by Sandra Tayler

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/01/15/12-3-project-in-depth-risk-assessment-by-sandra-tayler/

Key points: Doing the bonus story was a surprise because it meant crossing the roles, stepping into Howard's space. Also, Sandra had never written comics. The story? How did the grandparents of Captain Kaff Tagon meet, as told by Bristlecone, the gunship AI. A mil sci-fi meet cute! Adorable with explosions! Doing the collaboration, Howard tried to stay hands-off, and let Sandra do it. Mostly helping to pare the story down to seven pages of comic, leaving dead darlings everywhere, but keeping the core story of a cautious person doing something brave because it was needed. One of the keys to this collaboration was Sandra spending a weekend with Mary, where Mary talked about MICE quotient and other ways to get a handle on a story. Another part was Howard pointing out that you can write the story with all the normal narrative bits, then prune it to a comic script (dialogue plus side notes for the artist). Working with the artist meant Howard tutoring on terminology to use. The biggest lesson in doing it is comics are hard. And Howard deserves a big round of applause for being willing to take the risk of letting someone else step into his space and do something without interfering.

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[Brandon] I think we are going to call it here. Sandra, you had a writing prompt for us?
[Sandra] I do. One of these that really appealed to me, about this writing story was the beginnings of things. The beginnings of things really, really matter to people. The beginnings of relationships, in particular, which is why we have the meet cute as a thing that happens in so much fiction. Because how people meet and how they become friends or lovers or spouses matters. It informs the entire rest of the relationship. So what I would like you to do is take a pair of characters that you are working with who have a long-standing relationship, and I want you to write, not necessarily the moment that they met, but that foundational meeting. Because I met Howard before I actually… Before we really connected. A couple of times. But there's this… Always this moment that is the foundational moment in a relationship. I want you to write that up. I want you to think about how that moment influences the stuff that actually is in your story.
[Brandon] All right. I want to thank the people on the Writing Excuses cruise this year.
[Whoo!]
[Brandon] I want to thank Sandra for joining us on the podcast.
[Sandra] You're welcome. This is fun.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
ISeeYou2
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Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 11: Trimming

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 11: Trimming

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/08/08/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-11-trimming/

Key points: Trimming takes fat out so that you say what you need to say in the best possible way. Trimming improves the pace, makes writing snappy, and helps with clarity. Killing your darlings is not trimming. Trim repetition. Trim false starts. One strategy is section by section trimming -- 10% off each page or chapter, aka Jerry Pournelle's cut. Another approach is spot trimming, focusing on scenes, aka Dan and the Writing Group take a slice. Poetry teaches word usage. Trim adjectives, very, dialogue tags, navelgazing. Fix passive voice.
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[Brandon] The writing prompt is you are going LARPing with Jerry Pournelle. If you have to look up LARP, go ahead. If you have to find out what Jerry Pournelle is like, go ahead and Google that. Write a story that involves you LARPing with Jerry Pournelle. Not Howard LARPing with Jerry Pournelle, because he has already appeared in too many of our writing prompts.
[Dan] Then cut it down to half size.
[Brandon] Jerry Pournelle or the story?
[Dan] Something in the story has to be cut in half.
[Howard] Do you have any idea how big a light year is?
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You are out of excuses, now go write.
Fireworks Delight
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Writing Excuses Episode 3: Killing Your Darlings

The Thoroughly Unauthorized Summary of Writing Excuses Episode 3: Killing Your Darlings
From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/02/24/writing-excuses-episode-4-killing-your-darlings/

In which we learn that sometimes little darlings need to get the hatchet because they just don't fit anymore, that keeping them on tap for the right time and place may make it easier to cut them out right now, and that someone else can see which ones need the axe better than we can. Oh, and Howard spits Diet Pepsi on the table when someone suggests that our first book really should be killed.
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Practice cutting your darlings. Write more, and don't worry about cutting this little darling, because you can always make more.

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