Good Ideas vs. Killing Your Literary Darlings also Cover Art Update

Oy, a couple of days ago, ok like 4 days ago I had this great idea for a funny little bit of bonding for two of the main characters to do during a lull in the action.  Unfortunately it was out of character for one once I got it written.  You’d think I’d learn by now that if I’m struggling to write a chapter something is very flawed about it.  Well I pressed on and got feedback from two of my readers that it wasn’t quite right.   This I already knew I was just hoping the idea was good enough to make it fly.  Sadly no.  Even more sadly three attempts to re-write it later I had to remove the idea in its entirety.  It was good, it was funny, it could have worked–with other characters maybe, in another book maybe.

What it was not was right for these characters and this book.  The chapter in its current form is much stronger, fits the book much better and is good.  I’m going to send it off to my readers today and see what they think but I am confident they will agree.

Sometimes a good idea doesn’t advance the plot.   That’s ok if it is something interesting that develops characters, although arguably that would advance a sub plot important to the plot and is a good thing.  Sometimes an otherwise good idea just isn’t right for a particular character or book.  Then all you can do is accept that, set that idea on a back burner for maybe another book or character and write what is right for the book.

It was difficult and I’m still a little bit sad even though it was necessary and the work as a whole is better for it.  Or as they say (possibly William Faulkner coined the phrase) “sometimes in writing you have to kill your darlings.”  It’s as painful as it sounds.  It is also necessary sometimes.

Also I got a look at the first sketches for cover art and I have high hopes.