Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sondheim is my Patron Saint, and Thalia my Muse

I'm a funny person. It's not even a matter of thinking I'm funny -- I know I'm funny. I have a great sense of humor. I won't go so far as to say I'm a master of comedic timing (I'm not!) but previous to my career as an old lady, I was a theatre major. I've done comedies. Neil Simon especially. I'm also fond of Shakespeare. Shaw. Moliere. Granted, I've never performed Shakespeare or Shaw or Moliere, even back in high school, but we did our share of comedies. Our drama teacher had a penchant for them.

I started out trying to write a comic piece, after "The Grieving Mermaid" and "Ashes", which were quite dark. And concurrently writing "Worn Soles," which is still percolating along on the hard drive. Since "Soles" was going to be so dark -- again! -- I thought I'd try countering it all with a bit of light comedy. Something about 5,000 words long and funny. Joke's on me, thank you Thalia. That little comic short has hit 8,000 words and no end in sight. I can barely see the half-way mark. And it's got funny bits, but it isn't a comedy. What the hell happened?

And another thing too: I started writing the Fairy Tale Afters as a way to explore what happened after the "happily-ever-after-THE-END!" in fairy tales. Instead, what started out as a passage of backstory has swelled, uncontrollably, to pre-story, and I'm now edging into during-story. What happened to after-story?

I blame my characters. They talk too much. Because it really isn't my fault. Honest. The bastards.

So right now, I'm faced with the choice of:
      (1) stopping what I'm doing and starting all over again,
      (2) finishing what I've got and lopping off huge chunks of it to try to make it a short funny, or
      (3) finishing what I've got and THEN starting all over again.

That last option seems most likely, because I'm kind of fond of the characters and the situation, and I kind of want to see what they'll do. But then I'll have two stories, on nearly the same subject matter and quite possibly the same characters.

This is the part where I cuss and cuss and cuss.

Yeah, comedy tonight, baby.

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