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Killing a Darling in a Novel

Killing a Darling in a Novel


Mega author Steven King has encouraged authors to kill their darlings. Hmm … is a darling a positive or a negative? My co-author Brian Barnes and I aren’t ready to trash our good people … so our eyes had darlings to look at in the Harmonie series that includes Book 1, The Secret Journey and Book 2, The Secret Hamlet. We are in the middle of writing Book 3, The Secret Rise … and our poison pen is showing its head. Which bad guy should we eliminate?

Yup, our protagonist Nichol shows her stuff. Our poison pen has done the nasty delete option, but to none we be called darlings—the ones that have recurred in both books like cancer can. They are more like ugly riffraff. As we ended The Secret Hamlet, we knew who we would take out in the next one—The Secret Rise. The question was when and how. Brian and I would laugh and expand about ways to do the deed. If fact, I thought we had settled on it.

Oh, we had fun talking about how we would have Nichol deal with him. And said we wanted to do it in a specific part of the book in the final quarter. But … the writing journey was in play … and little did we know that it wasn’t going to be Nichol who did the deed until it just happened. Our fingers flowed. And little did we know that it was going to target the next darling to hit the death heap.

Oh boy … Book 3 is coming later this year!

Dr. Judith Briles started writing notes to her classmates in first grade … and got into “disruptive trouble” from her teachers. She’s now the author of 45 books and counting, still being a disrupter. Her books have won over 55 book awards and been Amazon bestsellers.You can follow her professional side at where she works with writers to become published authors. Listen in to her weekly podcast: AuthorU: Your Guide to Book Publishing at

©2024 Judith Briles – The Book Shepherd™ All Rights Reserved

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