Don't just kill your darlings, slaughter them

Published on Jun 10, 2019

I attended a short storing writing workshop today. Day one was fun and as is typical of Kuwait, half the attendees turned out to be close friends who are either writers or those who want to dabble with writing and see how it turns out for them.

(I've written and erased this following sentence at least 8 times trying to word it properly. I don't know why I'm editing as I write this, maybe because I have 9 minutes to finish this or risk my streak going up in smoke)

Something the instructor said that really resonated with me, especially after writing last night's post, is that you can very likely kill the first two paras of a short story draft. This can apply to articles as well, and I've felt this repeatedly about my own writing since I started posting on 200wad and also while reading articles that spend way too much time adding unnecessary context and that take forever to get to the point (it's how I learnt how to skim). I could definitely reduce the first 2 paras of this piece to just the first sentence, but they're going to stay because umm word count and also 4 minutes to gooo.

When it comes to editing, it pays to be merciless. It makes for a smoother read and you're more likely to have your work read if you learn to recognize the fluff and snuff it out.