My favorite screenwriter is Tony Gilroy who wrote one of my favorite movies, Michael Clayton (2007). Gilroy’s BAFTA lecture on writing original screenplays is incredibly insightful and useful. Gilroy advises writers to be cruel to their work before someone else is. By cruel, he means: edit the hell out of it, which is another way of saying kill every darling before you submit. A creative work is the process of vomiting onto the page, then shaping, honing, sculpting, trying to create a story, a sense of continuity. The final work is a result of destruction. But how does one know what to destroy? Beta readers help. Editors are vital. Ultimately, the decision is yours. That can be daunting. I think a little self-delusion goes…