They say, “Kill your darlings.”
They are usually referring to those
phrases or sentences or paragraphs that while smart or beautiful or
otherwise brilliant have no real place in the bigger view of your story.
But I had to kill Danny.
had been Gil’s only friend the year before the Gollywhopper Games.
Danny had helped Gil keep his sanity. Danny was Gil’s soft place to fall
when his parents were working or otherwise involved with residual
fall-out from The Incident, the mis-arrest of Gil’s father.
And yet, Danny had to die.
So Danny disappeared.
hard for me. I really, really liked the guy. I liked his cool assurance,
his easy-going manner. I liked how he helped Gil gain confidence. I
liked his own twist at the end. I was so sorry to let him go. But maybe
the cruelest part of this was that I needed to hurt Gil. I needed to
yank away his one friend and make him flounder for a year in extra
loneliness. It didn’t matter that the brunt of the loneliness took place
in backstory and was more fully planted in my mind than on the pages of
Hurt my character, hurt me.
But all’s well that ends well, right?
am happy to report that even though Danny never became Gil’s next door
neighbor or his brother-by-happenstance, Danny *did* move to Orchard
Heights. Danny and Gil *did* meet. Danny has turned up as an intern at
Golly Toy and Game Company. And together, he and Gil help solve a
mini-mystery within the greater context of the Gollywhopper Games #2
Once again, Danny lives.