Cannibalize Your Darlings

Faulkner warns that we should “kill our darlings,” but I have a slightly different take on that natty piece of advice. Throwing out what feels like our best work is never easy, and in truth, I never actually throw mine away. Rather, I toss it into a virtual junk drawer where I can go back later and cannibalize it ruthlessly in service to another story that may be working with me more cooperatively. In this way, we cobble together interesting new little monsters that surprise and delight us. Give it a try. Good luck.

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