LB: Classic Writing Advice Dept. Rule #1

Yep, this is an iPhone case? Need one?

You’ve heard/read this before and will hear/read it again, but did you know that this, the single most important thing you can keep in mind while writing anything, came from a guy who called himself “Q?”

His full name was Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, editor of, as Wikipedia puts it, “the monumental Oxford Book of English Verse…” among many other things, and if anyone ever knew a thing or two about brevity, Q was the one.

Or, as he put it so famously (and perfectly):

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — whole-heartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press: Murder your darlings.

I’ve followed Rule #1 from Day #1 of my career, and the only time I’ve ever regretted anything I wrote was when I read a passage of my own work and realize I could’ve killed still more. (Whilch is why I’m not letting myself re-read this post.)

From one murderer to another:

LYMI,

LB

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

One thought on “LB: Classic Writing Advice Dept. Rule #1”

  1. Yes, I seem to recall the “perpatration” part, but I’m a bit vague on the “DELETION”. “One line, Lawrence of TV! I’m asking you to drop one F-N LINE!” gs

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