Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Weed it and Reap

By Darvell Hunt

Stephen King said that some of the best advice he has ever received with a rejection letter from an editor was to cut his writing by 10%. “Kill your darlings,” he said.

Yeah, well, that’s sometimes hard to do.

I once had to cut a story that was published in Irreantum magazine, the official publication of the Association for Mormon Letters. My editor for this piece made many suggestions, most of which I followed, but the hardest suggestion to implement was to cut the unnecessary bulk.

I gritted my teeth, pulled on my best writing gloves, and proceeded to weed my story. It was a dirty, messy job, but in the end, I reaped the benefits of a cleaner, tighter story.

I concluded that Stephen King was right; however, being a writer myself, I figured I would give his advice in my own words, which are these:

Weed it and reap; if you do, your target audience—which just may include your future editor—won’t read it and weep.

Good luck!


L.T. Elliot said...

Excellent advice. Weed it. It sometimes hurts though, huh?

Valerie Ipson said...

I like the twist on words. "Weed it and reap" can have so many applications, even beyond the written page. Thanks!

Darvell Hunt said...

Weeding sometimes DOES hurt, indeed. Sometimes the thorns poke my fingers. Ouch. :-(

Thanks, Valerie. I kind of like the twist. It sounds kind of funny at first, but it really does make sense.

Thans for visiting!