Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's almost never easy to 'kill your darlings'.

Last week when I wrote about Modern Family's episode 'White Christmas', I had this one special thingy that I wanted to share in my post. I thought that I had to write it in and that I pretty much had no choice.

It was about how I was able to make an educated guess - before I checked the credits - that the episode in question was written by a former 'Community' writer. I thought it was a great 'read' by me so it made a lot of sense to include it in my post.

Yet, when it came to actually writing in this supposedly wonderful observation, I just couldn't make it work. No matter how I hard I tried, the post as a whole didn't work - and I couldn't figure out where the problems were.

It wasn't easy to admit that the biggest problem was with my specific 'darling'. Even though my post and my observations were both about pop culture references, that still didn't mean that they would fit in together.

This whole thing got me puzzled, because usually when it comes to letting go of your stuff, it's not that difficult to edit out parts that don't work. As long as you have written enough to fill up the page, it shouldn't be that difficult to remove at least some of the content.

However, deleting valuable stuff becomes too easily too difficult when you're that invested in your darlings. Many of those supposedly great things that you initially had in mind are genuinely that difficult to get rid of.

After all, those wonderful darlings are usually those things that made you start writing in the first place. It's not that hard to think that without them you feel like you left out something important and that you failed at least yourself.

But that's not how it's really supposed to go when it comes to writing. If your precious things don't work well enough, you should remove them, no matter how difficult it might be and no matter how much it might hurt at first.

In the end, getting rid of your precious darlings will always make your scripts better. It's something that's almost never easy to do, but as long as you're willing to get rid of them, you'll become a better writer as a result.

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