It pains me to tell you this. I don't want to—really, I don't. Alas, I've been plotting your demise. I admit, I had trouble imagining life without you as I reveled in your magnificence. You were virile and sexy, intelligent and witty—like you jumped right out of a Conroy novel—in the beginning. Indeed, you exhibited a passion that left me reeling. I adored everything about you, even your spelling.
While I was blind, you were immune to conflict. Every tweak I gave you was for naught. When I finally took a step back and critiqued you constructively, I asked myself, are you really necessary to me? Are you still relevant? Are you simply cluttering things up? What part did my ego play?
When others gasped (reading you far better than I), I knew it was time to drop you like a hot potato—so cliché. I must make sacrifices, darling. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one—so said Mr. Spock once. Besides, you are not tight. And I like tight. Everybody likes tight.
Oh, I could keep you around, try to modify your behavior, juxtapose your more salient points, or even attempt to resurrect you to some epic glory. But my trust in you would be misplaced. My darling, your entire life was scripted. Now I see your flat and flaccid impotence for what it is—you've made me look like I don't know what the hell I'm doing. And I can quit you.
From my point of view, all words are important. Except yours. Repetitive and passive, you lack the elements of style. You are hyperbole to the short-and-snappiness I long for. When I delete you for good, you'll leave a space. But only a small one. As a writer—as your creator—I must slice you and dice you, bury you in my garden, and forget about you. I'm going to make a scene, I swear it. With the proper perspective, I'll transition and move on. Because, succinctly, you are dead to me now.
This entire post, filled with darlings, will self-destruct . . . eventually.
* All good writers must do this little thing known as "killing your darlings." How hard is it to delete words, sentences, paragraphs, and even entire chapters when you've put so much time into them and they seem perfect, so darling? Believe me, it's HARD! Sometimes later revisions change everything, and going back and deleting (or killing off) what no longer works is a must to maintain the integrity of your story and the writing. So this was my impassioned kiss-off to my beloved darlings. Curiously, it's made its own point.
January 27, 2010