I’m about a third of the way through editing Video Rage. And while I was editing Chapter 12 yesterday, I had a bit of a problem that I had to really rack my brains to solve.

Does anyone remember the Kony 2012 video from two years ago? If you don’t, here’s a quick reminder: Joseph Kony is an African warlord leading a terrorist organization that recruits children to be soldiers and sex slaves. The video Kony 2012 exposed many people to Joseph Kony’s crimes to many people in the West for the first time, amassing nearly 100 million views and becoming one of YouTube’s most viral videos ever. However, despite a powerful Stop Kony campaign, a Cover the Night event, and a sequel to clarify points made in the first video, interest in Joseph Kony and Invisible Children, the organization behind the video, waned after questions of the legitimacy of the campaign came up and the video’s narrator/producer suffered a very public mental breakdown.

Maybe it was because I was really impacted by the video at the time, going out of my way to make a Kony 2012 T-shirt and participating in Cover the Night, but when I decided to make an original viral video in Video Rage, I wanted to use Kony 2012 as an example to compare to the viral video in the story. So I wrote it in, ignoring the reservations I had about using such a famous (and infamous video).

Well, perhaps there’s some truth to the phrase “Another year older, another year wiser.” I was 20 when I wrote that chapter, but I’m 21 as I edit the novel. And I decided to cut Kony 2012 from the story. It’s just that a well-known video like that being featured in my novel might do more harm than good, especially considering everything that went on in the aftermath. So I ended up replacing it with a fictional documentary that I made up pretty much while editing. It took me a while to come up with the subject matter behind the documentary and what it did to achieve the level of fame that it would inspire a viral video in the novel’s universe nearly forty years later, but I finally managed to come up with something that I was satisfied with. And hopefully any future reader will be satisfied with it as well.

So what’s the point of this post? I’m not sure there is a point. Maybe I just wanted to tell you all a story while letting you know how the editing for Video Rage is going. Or maybe I was trying to illustrate how something that seems like a good idea when you’re younger or at an earlier stage of a project (or both) can really seem like a bad idea later on and you just have to nix it. (Strange that Stephen King didn’t think of that when he wrote in that scene in IT with the kids all having sex with each other).

In any case, I’ve fixed what I considered to be a great problem with that one chapter of Video Rage, and I think that the rest of the draft will go smoothly…if I can stay on track with finishing the second draft of the book.

Well, that’s all for now. It’s late, so I’m going to bed. Have a good night, my Followers of Fear. I’ll update you on Video Rage and anything else that needs updating as time goes on. In the meantime, pleasant nightmares.

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Comments
  1. It happened a lot to me, that I wrote about something and then later on didn’t like or sometimes even understand my choices at all. That’s why you should always take some time away from the matter before editing it again 🙂 I am sure whatever you went with now was a good idea!

    • I hope so too. I really struggled to come up with an alternative documentary. It went from the practice of rehoming to attitudes in the American south and I finally settled on immigration.

      But in the end, I like to think it was the best choice. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I see a very relevant issue here. It’s a question of author conscience, whether or not a scene which you once thought would be effective, given the potential for harm or bad influence. It’s a good issue, and the mark of a serious writer.

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