Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Lessons Learned, #3: Kill Your Babies

I am a very independent person (at least I like to think so). In the past, I've been guilty of trying to write and illustrate in a vacuum. It just seems easier that way. But this past year, I've found my way into two critique groups. And now, I look forward to the groups and use them as deadlines to keep moving forward. The feedback and interaction has helped me to grow as a writer and illustrator.

A favorite piece of advice came from one of these groups. Probably lots of seasoned writers are familiar with this, but it was new to me: kill your babies. Any part of my writing that I love in a completely irrational way probably needs to go. It is hard. In fact, I had another name for a main character that I adored. It was perfect. It just HAD to be the name. But I couldn't figure out a way to spell it that would make it easily pronounceable. And thus, after a few weeks of mourning, I (sniff) let it go. I think this is important for illustration too. There are plenty of situations where I become attached to a sketch because of a cool perspective or fun detail and forget about the overall goal of the image. In the end, images (and words) need to tell the story first.


Jane said...

Interesting concept here...I am very intrigued and interested by that but I am SO glad it was not the literal title..that you were killing your babies ..


Jane x

Paula said...

This sounds like the most horrible advice thinkable! Could it be possible to just 'shelf' babies? ;-) Returning later to them and nursing them back to success?
This is new advice for me. I have never done this, maybe I should to explore new creative horizons.

Bethanie Murguia said...

I suppose I should have tempered the title a bit, huh?! :)

Well, it did get people's attention. Thanks for your comments...