on Writing Forward:
Kill your darlings. It’s a common piece of writing advice, but what does it mean?
I once thought that “kill your darlings” was strictly for storytellers. I even wrote about killing your darlings in storytelling. But this piece of wisdom has broader applications. It can be used by poets, nonfiction writers, and anyone who puts words on the page (or the screen, as the case may be).
Killing your darlings is about letting go of attachment to what you’ve written.