Earlier today, I loaded the samples from Next in the Series onto my iPod and listened to them to see whether they would make serviceable podcasts. They are short and decently produced and perhaps of a better quality than most podcasts currently available. The result was mixed. There was something missing from the pieces, and it seemed to me to be something missing mostly in the writing.
None of it really worked.
Now, part of that might be the medium. It is possible that they were just bad scripts for audio and might work in some other format. It's possible, but I don't think so.
I think the problem is that I have to stop trying to be funny. That's not to say that I should eschew humor entirely, but that I should just let it slip out whenever it comes to me naturally. I should avoid doing what one must do when writing professional-type comedy: Go for big laughs several times a minute.
As I've been working on Drayton these last almost three years, I've had to learn how to cut the jokes and to write differently--more subtly and seriously. I think this is a lesson that I have to take to my other writing endeavors. Even though I'm a funny writer, I'm not a comedy writer. Even though I'm capable of writing jokes--sometimes damn good jokes, too--I shouldn't.
I think that, at the end of the day, the problem with those pieces wasn't that they were bad, it's that they weren't as good as I could make them. And the reason for that was that I was always writing jokes.
At least, that's what it looks like from Parnassus today.