Cut, cut, cut! - Writer's Digest

Cut, cut, cut!

Publish date:

Some great advice as I move into the final edits of my
thesis: Chop away your darlings! It's so hard to do sometimes, but doesn't it make all the difference?

Image placeholder title

phoniness. There are going to be certain passages that you put in simply in the
hope of impressing people. It is true of me, and it is almost surely true of
you. I have maybe never known a writer of whom it is not true. But literary
pretension is the curse of postmodern age. We all have our favorite ways of
showing off, and they rarely serve us well. When you have identified your own
grandiosity, do not be kind. When Georges Simenon was an eager young wannabe in
Paris, none other than Colette herself advised him that his prose was ‘too
literary, always too literary.’ Thereafter, Simenon spent much of his amazing
career cutting away his efforts to impress. ‘It’s what I do when I write,” he said,
“the main job when I rewrite…. [I cut] every word which is there just to make
an effect. Every sentence which is there just for the sentence….Cut it.’”

Koch, The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop, A Guide to the Craft of Fiction


Bearing vs. Baring vs. Barring (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use bearing vs. baring vs. barring on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Former Writer's Digest managing editor Zachary Petit shares his list of 15 things a writer should never do, based on interviews with successful authors as well as his own occasional literary forays and flails.


Evie Green: Imaginary Friends and Allowing Change

Author Evie Green explains why she was surprised to end writing a horror novel and how she learned to trust the editorial process.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The 3 Prime Rules of Horror Writing, Contest Deadlines, and More!

Welcome to the first installment of a new series! There's always so much happening in the Writer's Digest universe that even staff members have trouble keeping up. So we're going to start collecting what's on the horizon to make it easier for everyone to know what's happening and when.


Lenora Bell: When Fairy Tales Meet Reality TV

Bestselling historical romance author Lenora Bell discusses researching, avoiding info-dumps while still charming readers, and how her latest book was inspired by her life.


Three Keys to Crafting Chemistry Between Characters

Romance author Michelle Major explains her three go-to tips for ensuring your characters have believable chemistry.

Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

Take Two: Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

No one wants to break the bank to learn how to write a screenplay. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares practical tips on saving money on the pursuit of a screenwriting career.


10 Epic Quotes From Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Here are 10 epic quotes from Watership Down, by Richard Adams. The story of a group of rabbits who escape an impending danger to find a new home, Watership Down is filled with moments of survival, faith, friendship, fear, and hope.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Quintilla Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the quintilla.