Write like a bad boyfriend

How is it you can be totally infatuated one day, and then the next day, see the fatal flaws in the object of your affection?

 

If that’s you, embrace your superpower gift. Don’t fall in love with your own writing. Love it, and then leave it. How else can you look at it with a critical eye? How else can you rip out those seemingly perfect phrases or paragraphs, or even characters, scenes and whole chapters?

 

 dumped writing

 

Write like a bad boyfriend—the love ’em and leave ’em kind. Because what looks great one day, sometimes has to be highlighted and deleted the next.

 

“But you worked so hard on that scene,” whines one side of me. “See how catchy that phrase is? You found the perfect adjective there. That character is hilarious.”

 

Then my bad boyfriend side kicks in. “Forget it. It’s just not going to work. And by the way,” he adds with a sneer, “the problem is you, not me.”

 

Sometimes I don’t want to hear that bad boyfriend. That’s why it’s good to have good writer friends or a helpful instructor—someone who can let you down easy. All writers need that someone who can say, “Yes, it’s time to break up with your clever words, or showy sentences or pointless chapters.”

 

Breaking up is hard to do, but it has to be done. How else can you leave yourself open to something better?

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