Itchy Bitesized 12: Don’t Pull Your Writing’s Teeth – by Emma Darwin…

on This Itch of Writing:

Another thing I frequently find myself writing on students’ work is, “Don’t pull its teeth!”. Here, “it” is a scene, a sentence, a character’s thought, or a character’s action, which has all the ingredients to be compelling, but somehow falls flat. (Actually, I usually write “Don’t draw its teeth” which is the phrase I grew up with. But I wouldn’t want you to think we were talking about keeping your sketchbook closed.)

Don’t pull the teeth of a thought. This is probably the most common, and I think it stems from the first-drafting writer very naturally mulling over all the possibilities, so they all end up on the page:

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