I think it’s a strange phrase, that, that you should kill your darlings in your writing. Maybe I don’t know darling when I see it – I wouldn’t know what to slaughter first. When I’m editing, I’m just trying to hone the story, trying to chip away at the other roads I might have taken, roads whose destination signs have been left as small hooked snags, unresolved meanderings, or descriptions that have no purpose whatsoever. And then there is, simply, the pursuit of elegance…
But there is not enough time for this editing. I am working with other people’s darlings, namely their children. As is the way, nearing the end of term there are not enough days to fill with all of the workshops that want doing. I finished a large poetry and science project yesterday, that featured some splendid site-specific installations and POV writing for insects, and am off today to continue the crafting of an alien invasion in Sittingbourne. Future workshops over the next two weeks will feature a film with 200 Year 9s on the 3 Ages of Ramsgate, with some lovely poems about journeys to the famous bathing town from the points of view of Georgians, Victorians, and modern-day students, as well as days spent creating new games with business studies students and how to produce a festival with grammar school girls. On the last day of term, the aliens will arrive and be sent, all things being well, back into space and I will contemplate a lie down and a stack of books, secure that we may live to eat a few more days.
So, that is not an excuse for shoddy workmanship. The first book has been redrafted and I am playing hide and seek with typos and wrong words that don’t “tool” as typos, and have been sending first pages out. Terrifically exciting. Meanwhile, this book – the book for this blog – languishes. It’s time will come, but not soon enough for me.