Oh, Russ Gregory – this is so good I have to share it 🙂
There’s a sort of push-pull, dance-to-the-death between writers and editors that rarely breaks out in actual physical violence but none-the-less leaves emotional scars. I’m not referring to disagreements over the placement of a comma or the appropriate use of passive voice. I’m talking about flat out murder… the killing of darlings.
As my editor Greg Herren explains it…
As painful as it is, sometimes a writer will write an extremely beautiful sentence–it just sings and is clever and wonderful and—just doesn’t really fit in the narrative. In fact, it jars the reader out of what they are reading. I call it ‘author intrusion’–“see how beautifully I can write?”
There’s nothing wrong with using language beautifully, or creating lovely images with words. But it has to fit with the sentences and paragraphs before and after, otherwise it interrupts the flow–and you don’t want that.
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