(ed: SPOILER WARNING – This article makes reference to plot events from “The Walking Dead”.)
Last week, we posted an episode review from a show from the future. As the primary author, I had written the bulk of it, and then asked RobbieRobTown to have a look at it, to see if he had any insight or notes. The article was mostly my effort to recreate that feeling you get when you see people obsessively carrying on about something you’re completely unfamiliar with. In the midst of the article, I decided to add one specific outright joke. It (originally) read as follows
“Meanwhile, Rick and Shane are still arguing on the farm”.
Ha! Soooo clever! A simple, average shot at “The Walking Dead”. No big deal, maybe someone gets a laugh out of it. And that’s where the fun starts. RobbieRobTown adds his own section to the “Translocution” review. But he, not being a Walking Dead fan (or perhaps not connecting the dots), adds some very funny lines regarding Rick and Shane’s crossbreeding attempts.
Now I have a problem. The lines are really funny, but if the article starts treating Rick and Shane as actual Translocution characters, the original joke is in trouble, and it might seem like we ourselves didn’t realize those two character names are in use on a popular show. Around here, that’s not cool. So I rework RRT’s lines, attribute them to other characters, still troubled by the farm related talk, but unwilling to cut the “coats” line, which I think is hysterical.
But, no worries, fixed, all set to post the next day, a Monday. (We tend to not post on the weekend, as things get missed a lot, our reader base seems to be the “slacking off at work” crowd.) Of course, that Sunday night happens to be the one where Shane gets a knife in the heart and later a bullet in the head.
Crazy, great, plot twisty! On a personal level, I’m loving that “The Walking Dead” is getting in gear, ramping things up. On a story level, I’m back to editing. Obviously in the future, the line makes no sense without a lot of explanation, and again, perceived lack of cultural awareness is uncool. So the line gets changed yet again.
“Rick, Carl, Lori, and the others remain at the farm, arguing.”
This, in my head, is less good than the original line. But it suffices, and I post the story. It gets a whole lot of lack of comments, save one from M-Daddy who gives the edict “serviceable”. He means well, and I’ve finally lived up to my Mother’s constant nagging at me to “ensure your writing is serviceable”. No biggie, I liked the article, it was a fun exercise in writing, and in my head, I contemplate continuing the recaps. Worst case, it’s ignored, and I get more experience. Best case, other people get in on the action, speculating about the characters, expanding the world. Who knows, maybe I actually write some episodes, and it becomes an actual…something.
Of course, this week’s “The Walking Dead” blows the rest of the line out of the water. Do I go back and revise? Leave it as it? I could change it, but I think now that it’s been posted, it stays. The likelihood of a lot of reads at this point is small, and it seems wrong on an editorial level.
Anyways, a small bit of insight in to the trial and tribulations that we go through to bring you a modest smirk.