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Bonnie Hearn Hill | Kill your darlings? Okay, but how?
Author Guest / November 27, 2010

Fiction writers always hear that we should “kill your darlings.” William Faulkner is the first credited with this excellent advice, and it has been repeated by many other authors, including Stephen King. I’ve always nodded when I heard it, and I’ve lost count of how many times I repeated it to my students.  But after writing six thrillers and three young adult Star Crossed novels, not to mention mentoring many authors, I finally had to  ask myself, “Which darlings?” Here are the ones I believe you should murder first. The Researchitis Darling. How nice for you. You’ve spent a year researching a topic, and you want to dump it all on your reader from Page 1. I can so relate. Thanks to my Cosmopolitan astrologer friend, Hazel Dixon-Cooper, I researched every aspect of astrology in order to write the Star Crossed Series. As a Gemini ruled by Mercury, I got kind of obsessed by where one’s Mercury was located, and what that meant. Mercury in Pisces? Less forthcoming. In Aries? A communication champion who blows rules out the window. In Taurus? Even more controlling. But—and this is a big but—my readers were still working on their Sun signs. They weren’t…