Free Your Darlings

Free Your Darlings

On plot boards, and stories, and characters that won’t shut up!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

So, today, I finally got down to making the plot board for The QuickSilver Chronicles Volume One: The Girl In The Mirror. I’ve been putting it off for a while. At first, I wasn’t sure why, but having actually gotten down to it, I worked out why.

I was scared. All the while that my novel stayed hidden away inside the deepest, darkest places of my brain, I was allowing myself to avoid failure. When the characters were only inside my head, they weren’t really real, (and there was no risk of failure). At least, that’s what I told myself.

The truth is that the characters outgrew my brain a long time ago. They’ve been screaming to get out for a while now, and I have been too scared to let them. I was scared that if I let them out, I would have to let them go, and without this story to focus on, there wasn’t much else to think about, except the grief that I feel.

But as I’ve opened myself up and started to write Joey’s story; allowing myself to plot it out and let the story (and characters) free, I’ve worked out that I haven’t lost them. In fact, I actually feel like they trust me more, and are talking to me more than ever.

It’s a nice feeling. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a writer can really understand it, but please, take my word for it. William Faulkner said that writers should “kill your darlings”, and while this is true, I feel the need to add that in order to write; to truly write the stories of your characters, you must first, set them free.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.