They Write By Night, Episode 9

Murder Your Darlings

Ya don’t have to knock too many people off in poetry. Truer words have rarely been spoken — at least by me. Lately. But what happens when a poet’s writing a screenplay and realizes she’ll need to create a character only to get this character killed. Seems wrong somehow. Yet the killer in the story’s not much of a killer unless he kills somebody.

Everybody knows “Kill your darlings” means you might have to edit out some of your favorite lines for the sake of the whole. Kid stuff. When writing a certain kind of screenplay, you’ll have to murder your darlings.

What else? Don’t be worried, but I open in a Southwest mood. Clint Eastwood gets an ambivalent mention. Greenblatt’s Deli on Sunset makes an appearance. Best part — that fine poet Lynn Emanuel; her poem’s featured. What’s it about? A crime writer who can’t get his characters to let themselves be murdered. They don’t want to be.

– Suzanne Lummis

Top image credit to www.Poetry.LA

What are you looking for?