Press your spaceface close to mine

Oh, Forget It

Posted by Sunday on Dec 3, 2008 at 3:18 pm in Daily Space, Literature

It’s classic.  Trust me.

So, I have this story, right.  I never sold it.  There is a character in it who gets the nickname Thirteen.  As of today, I discover that the television show House has a character named Thirteen, and guess who has to replace every instance of the name “Thirteen” in their document now?  And the jokes and references and stories related to it?  That’s right, me.

There is a classic old piece of writing advice to “kill your darlings,”¹ an aptly poetic way of saying that nothing you can write will ever be sacred.  In fact, if there is something sacred, you’re probably way too emotionally involved to determine its quality.  To be safe, you should kill it.  So they say.  Like most writing advice I find it to be quackery and metaphorically shit on it as often as I am able.  I’d also like to point out that I’ve never successfully sold a novel, so here’s some salt.

Point being: I’m pretty used to this.  It fits in with my atheistic worldview.  It happens, just like I am named Sunday and YES, LIKE NICOLE KIDMAN’S DAMN BABY, BUT MY MOM ALREADY THOUGHT OF IT 30 YEARS AGO.  Whatever, I’ll deal with it the same way I deal with everything: by starting a gang.

¹Also deliciously pertinent to this subject: the phrase originally used (maybe) was “Murder your darlings,” as attributed to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, but also sort of simultaneously attributed to Faulkner who said “Kill your darlings” in a variety of phrases.  It is possible that one stole from the other, but more likely they both had the same idea and then whichever one thought of it first got credit last and felt like a loser.

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December 3rd, 2008 | Daily Space, Literature

3 Responses to “Oh, Forget It”

  1. quagmire Says:

    You are vindicated, in this instance anyway.
    The character you refer to in ‘HOUSE’ is called Thirteen (only by House himself) because he gave her the number when all the docs were vying for a position on his medical ‘super team’. All the candidates were a number at one point in the show. So, as I see it, your story is safe … her name is not Thirteen, it’s just what he calls her. Some of the others still have number-names, others have nutty nick-names, but only to House.
    Ipso-facto: you do not need to (and should not!) do any purging of yer story character’s name.
    I like it. And I have many warriors … for I am The Kwisatz Haderach!(whew! THAT was fucking intense.)

  2. Aaron Leva Says:

    i want to be in your gang! i can swing a tire iron like nobody’s business!

  3. Sunday Says:

    You’re already in my gang, goofball.

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