This is a writing prompt from Melbourne-based games developer and word herder, Leena van Deventer

Don't forget to jump on the workshop to share your work and receive anonymous feedback, and remember to include "(WP)" in the title so we know that it's a prompt response!


Stop! Don’t kill them!

Put your darlings down.

What if I told you that you don’t have to kill your darlings? Your beautiful creations. Your perfect prose. That exquisite turn of phrase that makes you get goosebumps.

What if you became…


Suit up. Fetch your sword. Pick up lost ideas, un-jettison your beloved work.

Instead of killing your darlings to make way for The One True Story, have a go at putting all options in your work. Branch those narratives. Alternate those endings.

Let your next work be over-run with darlings, my darlings. Let the sun shine on their darling little faces.

Image source: Leena van Deventer


Leena van Deventer is a writer and game developer from Melbourne with a soft spot for interactive fiction and branching narratives. Recently she worked with the Melbourne Writers Festival to help make their Twists and Turns app; a choose-your-own-adventure interactive work geotagged to the laneways of Melboune’s CBD, and she held a branching narratives workshop with Writers Victoria. Leena is also teaching game design students at RMIT this year. Previously, she has done numerous public speaking engagements about games and narrative, at festivals like Freeplay and the Emerging Writers Festival, and at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Leena has also co-founded a feminist organisation called WiDGET, aimed at supporting women developers making games. She makes a mean peppercorn sauce. 

samvanz's picture


Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.