I’m Piper Bayard, and I’m a Little Darling Addict.
Hi, Piper. Welcome.
Thank you. It was hard to come here today, so I knew I needed this meeting.
I’m back at Step One. I am powerless over my imaginary friends, and my manuscript has become unmanageable.
My editor called and asked me for my draft. I told her, “It’s not ready.” The truth is that I’m not ready. I’m not ready to part with my Little Darlings.
We know what they are. They are 68 out of 75 main characters. They are detailed scenes designed to show off our expertise. They are the cool one liners we saw on Twitter and worked into our dialogue, even though our characters would never talk like that.
*sniff* *reaches for tissue*
And they are the entire scenes and sections of our manuscripts that we love most, but that serve nothing to move the plot . . . Our Little Darlings. Our babies.
While writing is an art, publishing is a business. We give birth to our babies, but most of us don’t try to sell them on Amazon. That’s reserved for the products of our business.
And so I come here to these rooms to stay honest. I know that I owe it to my readers and to myself to rise above my ego and let the editing begin.
Thank you for your support.
12 Steps of Little Darlings Anonymous
- We admitted we were powerless over our imaginary friends, and that our Works In Progress had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that an Editor greater than ourselves could restore our prose to sanity.
- We made the decision to turn our will and our manuscripts over to our Editors, whoever we understand them to be.
- We made a searching and fearless critical inventory of all of our Little Darlings.
- We admitted to our Editors, to ourselves, and to our beta readers the exact nature of our self-indulgences.
- We became entirely ready to have our Editors remove all the Little Darlings from our Works In Progress.
- We humbly asked our Editors to mercilessly slaughter all of our Little Darlings when we had not the strength.
- We made a list of all persons we had subjected to our original manuscripts and became willing to make amends to all of them who had not hung themselves by page fifty.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would cause them to injure themselves or others at the mere memory of our manuscripts.
- We continued to undergo edits, and, when our Editors sniffed out Little Darlings, promptly submitted them for termination.
- We sought through study and daily word count to improve our conscious contact with our plots, as we understood them, seeking only the knowledge to distinguish between Little Darlings and actual elements of our stories.
- Having had a literary awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other Little Darling Addicts, and to practice these principles in all of our written endeavors.
The Writers Serenity Prayer
Grant me the serenity to accept that things have got to change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And a good Editor to help me know the difference.
Piper Bayard is an author and a recovering attorney with a college degree or two. She's also a belly dancer from way back and a former hospice volunteer. She is currently the managing editor of Social In Worldwide, Inc., and pens post-apocalyptic sci-fi and spy novels when she isn't shooting, baking cookies, or chauffeuring her children.