Transplanting Some of My Darlings

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—wholeheartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.” ~ Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

I wouldn’t be senseless enough to contradict the enlightened Señor Quiller-Couch, particularly when I know that I tend to overpopulate my tales with beloved (and often bloodthirsty) darlings. However, if I murdered all my darlings, my stories would be left looking like someone else’s graveyard. And I don’t know about you, but I rather play with my own bones.

So… instead of slaughtering all my darlings, I often do some transplanting and relocating during the editing process. There still is some blood and guts (sorry slow plant magic from “If this Woods Could Kill,” you were just a bit too ridiculous), but most of my darlings will just claim a new home or shape.

I have a handful of darling motifs that appear in most of my stories: magic, witchery, strong female leads, respect for all living things, the stench of social injustice, survival of the wittiest, uncannily powerful plants set in the middle of each plot… *“plot,” get it? Yes, I’m a dork*

In case you haven’t noticed all the greenery in my tales, here is some proof:
• “Wishing upon Earth and Bones,” an AlmaMia Cienfuegos story – “…whispering encouragement chants to the leaves of the rosemary plant that had marked the center of the Cienfuegos’ garden for more than one hundred years.”
Pre-Chaos“His face, neck, and arms were tattooed with black leaves. His eyes were witch-white with no pupils […his] legs ended in two thick vines rooted next to [her] tree.”
Of Death and Blooms – Jonquil, Cedrus, Althea, Yvonne, Ash, Wisteria, Marguerite, Daphne… and a blooming title, which describes a world half-ruled of herb magic.

I could give you more examples, but I don’t want to inspire you to beat me bloody with a branch of my own creation. By the way, anyone who thinks that even one of the leafy examples above will disappear from their stories will find himself or herself highly disappointed. Those darlings grow at the root of their plots, and their worlds will certainly wither if they are cut down. But there will be some serious pruning in Pre-Chaos.

I won’t say what will be trimmed, so that you won’t miss it. I’ll just let go of some of the green, and focus on the city’s Mythica Stones. Actually—my gods, will I ever be able to keep a secret!—if you read my future fiction, you won’t miss a thing. What I’m removing from Pre-Chaos will be transplanted to Of Death and Blooms. And knowing me, I’ll tell you all about it when I do ;-)  

How do you deal with your “darlings,” my Wicked Luvs?
via

14 comments:

  1. Since I don't write stories, in real life the way I deal w/folks that aren't genuine is to WALK AWAY, to not even bother w/them... or expend any energy in being angry at them... cuz, they ain't worth the time/energy... LOL....

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    1. And that, my dear friend, is the reason why I leave non "genuine" darlings out of my fiction. When something (or someone) feels empty, most people just walk away. We have better thing to do than to try to figure out things that just don't feel right. So... walk on! :-D

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  2. I write them. And decide what may (or may not) happen afterwards. There is a beautiful zombie-involving love story on my hard drive I do not know where to put, but when I met those characters I could not NOT write them.

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    1. That's my strategy. I write things as they come out, and if they don't feel right later... well, we deal. Sometimes murder happens, but most times the culprit just go to jail for a bit ;-)

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  3. I hug them and kiss them and sing them songs...and if they misbehave i bury them in a muddy hole in my garden....well you asked..mwahahahahahaha....:D XXX

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    1. Do you ever get some misbehaving muddy zombies?

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  4. I just planted a cute character in my blog post - let's see if she grows into a bigger plant or withers.:)but I hope for the best, as I always hope for.
    Have a beautiful evening, Magaly! :)

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    1. I shall stop by to talk to your character, and perhaps water it with some words ;-)

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    2. yes, do stop by :) The more caring hands, the better.

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  5. I find that I murder a lot of my darlings in my paintings. I begin with an idea, but then discover it's not working, so I bury it and birth another darling. It's not uncommon for me to dig the first darling up, cut off limbs and attach limbs from another darling. :-) I think I watch too much Robot Chicken late at night when I can't sleep.

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    1. Robot Chicken is pure therapy. And the same can be said about artistic dismemberment ;-D

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  6. I just wanted to say, that is a Jade Tree in that picture! My mom has one, that is over 20 years old. She has cut in half so many times and put it in a new pot everytime, because it has got so big. Now it's too big and she is looking for someone to take it. The pot is actually on wheels. We know it's worth a lot of money, but mom just wants it to go to a good home. I will take pictures of it for you Magaly ;o)

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    1. Can't wait to see pics of the ginormous jade! If I were closer, I would probably ask your mom for a cutting. And if I had a yard, I would take the whole thing!

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