On murdering darlings

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it–whole-heartedly–and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.
–Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.
–Saul Bellow

I’m putting these two quotations before you because the first is maybe the most famous piece of writing advice ever given… and given by a man who, as far as I can tell, is remembered for writing nothing else.

The second is from Saul Bellow. You may have heard of him.

Something to think on. I think I’ll go perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, now.

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