Desktop for January

New Year, new desktop pic staring at me from my PC, for the next little while at least:

Because I like wolves. Some were originally scheduled to appear, in a manner of speaking, in the Godless World trilogy, but their part is amongst the big, sulking pile of material that ended up on the cutting room floor during the revising and rewriting process. Poor doggies. They belonged in a completely different story-that-will-never be, what you might call the ‘magic and monsters’ version of the trilogy. It had some good points, but overall I couldn’t get it to work.

‘Be prepared to kill your darlings’ is one of those bits of guidance that aspiring writers stumble over everywhere they turn. It’s good advice. I came over all brutal while writing and rewriting Winterbirth (with, I should add, the assistance and approval of agent and editor at certain points). Plotlines, characters, scenes, themes, all germinated, grew and then got savagely scythed down by this author in search of a vaguely functional novel. Arguably, the more affectionate a writer feels about a character or a sub-plot, the more critically he or she should probably view its claim on page space. I don’t regret any of the changes or excissions I made. But I can’t deny a little bit of nostalgia for those wolves.

I got the image from here, by the way.

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