Draft 4: I murdered my darling


The stupid bourgeois twit fainted.That's my favorite line I've ever written. It used to be the first line of chapter 1 in The Devil's Wall. It came right after a prologue that's written in formal, articulate prose in Anastasia's voice, and so it created a great contrast. It's the first line I ever wrote in my protagonist Evgenia's voice, and it made me fall instantly in love with her.I've been reading a lot of writing blogs over the past couple of years, and every time someone repeated the classic advice "murder your darlings," I thought about that line. Would I be able to keep it?Well, no. I just did a 4th major revision of my novel opening. Anna no longer faints. Evgenia doesn't rescue her from being burned alive, as I originally wrote. The line had to go.And you know what happened? I replaced it with a line that I like almost as much. This new line better captures the theme at the heart of Evgenia's story, and as a bonus, the scene that surrounds it is a better opening. Here's the new line:No one had any damn money.For a story about a communist revolutionary, that seems a fitting start. Now will I get to keep this darling? Only time, critique partners, and future revisions will tell.*PS: Yes, the feature image here is a very bad mock-up of a cover for The Devil's Wall that I made ages ago. It had to go, too. :-)