Have you ever heard the phrase “Kill your darlings”? If you haven’t or if you have but don’t quite understand what it means, it refers to deleting writing that is dear to you but doesn’t really add anything to your writing project.
It is something that I have never liked doing. Every word on the page represents blood and sweat and effort that I have put into a specific piece of work. It was work to get it there so why should I delete it?
Then I started working on ‘GalaxyBillies’.
‘GalaxyBillies’ represents a real departure for me. As much as I’ve always wanted to write humor, I have never had the nerve to do it. All my writing has a (relatively) serious undertone. So when I started writing GB I kept catching myself writing the story in a serious way instead of a humorous one. I would get started writing the way I wanted (comedy) and it would gradually stray to something else. I always caught myself, but it usually meant throwing out a number of words.
The amazing thing is the serious mistakes often gave me new ideas for comedy. Ideas I wouldn’t have had if I had stayed on track.
The first episode (Episode 0) of the program is much better for all the mistakes. Having said that, I did end up throwing away about 3 – 4,000 words of story. That represents about 60 – 80% of the final story size for the episode so trust me, I felt the pain. But even through the pain of cutting, I felt the thrill of storytelling the way I knew I wanted to tell it.
I’d call that a win. I’d also call it a lesson; I’ll never be afraid to throw out writing again. Chances are good that the results will make the pain worthwhile.
So is ‘GalaxyBillies’ hilariously funny? I have had some positive comments but I’m too close to the project to judge. I do know that the story is going in the general direction I want with the right tone. That is all I can ask on something as new to me as this writing is. My hope is it will get better and better with each episode.
I am a bad person. Well, maybe not bad so much as distracted. I totally missed my Wednesday post. I had the post ready and then I got writing the newest episode of GalaxyBillies and everything else went out of my head.
Sorry folks. The only good news is that I have a multi-episode story arc in mind that I think will be fun to write. So far so good.