Is it a made up word? Sure. Is that going to stop us from using it? No.

What we’re getting at here, on this page, is the backstory for every one of our candle’s names. If you’ve ever been curious as to why we’ve named our candles the way we have, read on.

Kill Your Darlings

Kill your darlings is an expression used in the world of writing that advocates for judicious, objective revision.

Do you really like that turn of phrase you wrote, but are now finding beta readers think it’s confusing? That’s a darling that must be rephrased or set aside.

Have a character you absolutely adore but later discover doesn’t contribute to the forward movement of your plot, your main character’s development, or the scene in general? That’s a darling as well, and it’s time to remove them from the manuscript in question.

So much more can be said about the phrase, and we said some of it in this blog post.

Happily Ever After

“And they all lived happily ever after.

Or so end the fairy tales with which so many of us are familiar. This phrase, however, isn’t confined to the realm of the Brothers Grimm and Mother Goose. In fact, happily ever afters are a genre-defining prerequisite in the world of capital-R romance—by which we mean the books shelved in the romance section of your favorite independent bookstore.

The term is so ubiquitous that it’s more likely spotted in the wild by its acronym (HEA), which contrasts with HFN, or happy for now.

Can a capital-R romance end with an HFN instead of an HEA? That’s a debate we won’t touch with a ten-foot candle wick, but what we can tell you is that our Happily Ever After will certainly help you illuminate the path that guides your characters to their HEA.

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony is a literary term that’s best summarized as a phenomenon that arises when readers know something a character does not.

Are you privy to the machinations of a scheming character while another, hapless, stumbles their way into the former’s trap? Relative to the latter, then, you have a relationship of dramatic irony.

Did one character privately declare their intentions to ask for another’s hand in marriage? When the hour arrives for the proposal, you’ll be in a state of dramatic irony relative to the character receiving the proposal.

Anticipation, inevitability, and foreboding fuel dramatic irony, and we like to think we captured its essence in our candle by that very name.

Chosen One

Bow-and-arrow-wielding teens who upend fascism. Moisture farmers who detonate star destroyers. Software engineers who become masters of the simulation in which they live.

These are but three examples of the chosen one trope, a perennial favorite in literature and film. Whether chosen by ancient prophecy, family heritage, or random chance, chosen ones are, as the name implies, the only ones who can banish the darkness, slay a legendary beast, or restore peace to an otherwise warring land.

Oftentimes, chosen ones come once in a generation, century, or millennium. We won’t make you wait that long for ours, however: our Chosen One returns once a year as the savior of the fall season.

Writer’s Block

Perhaps among the most ubiquitous of writerly terms, writer’s block is best described as the feeling of being, well, blocked. Writer’s block can manifest as a perceived lack of ideas, having countless ideas but being unsure how to start, or even as a symptom of impostor syndrome.

It’s often said that the cure for writer’s block is to simply write, to push through and get words on the page, come what may. Others will advocate that writer’s block is best overcome by trusting one’s inspiration to return and seizing the moment when it does.

Our opinion on the matter? Pursue the path that feels most natural to you.

That said, we do like to think keeping a KYD candle burning won’t hurt you in your quest to vanquish your writer’s block. We believe so long as one of our candles burns at your side, your words can burn through you.

Diverged In A Wood

Robert Frost is perhaps the most well-known American poet of the 20th century. As the only poet to have ever won the Pulitzer prize for poetry four times, it’s no wonder his work remains widely celebrated.

Our Diverged In A Wood candle takes its name from the Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.” This poem inspired us to create a candle with a name that celebrates writers, who, almost definitionally, must take roads less traveled if they’re to see the world in the fashion that is oh-so-frequently expected of them.

So celebrate the bravery required to take the road less traveled by; burn bright with one of our seasonal Diverged In A Wood candles while they’re here.

Blank Page

Ah, yes, the blank page: a space of endless possibility, a source of abject terror.

Relatively speaking.

A writer’s relationship to the blank page is complicated: to stare it down is to embrace the challenge, to channel the courage required to participate in the act of creation. That said, courage alone is often not enough to see one’s dreams distilled into life, at least not in the earliest of drafts.

Our Blank Page, however, is here to help. It invites you to use your imagination, to remind yourself that all books—including those written by our favorite bestsellers—started somewhere.

And that somewhere? The blank page.

Dragon Tamer

Dragons have long been part of the fantasy mythos. Known as hoarders of treasure and fearsome foes when it comes to blows, they’re the source of much intrigue and fear to this day.

We’ll be honest: our first name for this candle was Dragon Slayer, but despite the oft-heralded achievement that is slaying a dragon, we asked ourselves what would happen if instead of defeating a dragon, we befriended one?

Ergo, Dragon Tamer, a candle that’s much more about flying high atop a foe-turned-friend than it is about laying them low.