|photo credit: MichaelConCarne|
Powerful ideas smashing the door to our brain and forcing their way in.
Not that we complain. We love those. It means our creative mind is travelling at full speed and producing its best juice. It's exhilarating. Wild. The first step in a new world.
Our first step into a new world.
So often we want to make it part of the story. This moment caught our attention and hooked us into a story. They have to be good, right? Readers will love them.
Sometimes, though - not always - this isn't for the best. Sometimes you take a scene and work out who the people in it are, and why there's a man holding a gun to another's forehead, and why he's incapable of shooting, and as you build your story from the scene, you get new ideas.
Context, plot, structure, characters, themes... everything changes. You plan, plot, write, brainstorm. You search for the real story, and the more you do, the further you get from your first love. Before you realise it, you're on the third draft and the first powerful moment, the very inspiration for this story, well, it doesn't fit anymore.
This is hard. It's hard to look objectively at your first creative impulse and admit it no longer has its place in this story. Kill your darlings, they say. The hardest part is to admit it has gone from a great, tension-filled, epic moment to a purposeless darling.
It must be done, however. Don't let your first ideas drag your story back. If you're not sure about a scene, or a character, or a plot twist... try to consider it objectively.
What does it bring to the story? What is its mission? Is it essential, or is it a leftover from your first drafts in this universe? If you remove it, what is the difference?
(Also, keep in mind that sometimes it is only part of a scene or character that should be shot down. This is what I had to do)
Be truthful with yourself. If you have a darling on your hand, it is your duty to the story to take your shotgun out, charge it... and shoot.
It's for its own good.