Throwback Thursday #2: That Time I Wrote Courtney and Liked Her

Throwback Thursday #2: I Shall Believe

I took about break from General Hospital for about a month, maybe six weeks, back in the fall of 2003. I can’t remember now why that happened except I was going to night school, and I didn’t have a DVR yet so it was a bit harder for me to catch episodes. I was sharing a room and TV with my sister. It sometimes just got easy to dip and out. The only reason I know for sure that my break was that long was because I know I watched up through Elizabeth’s accident in September (and I think I was annoyed with the fallout and the coverup story) but I didn’t watch again until maybe early Christmas or something.

When I did come back, Carly had been shot in the head, and Sonny was…going to escape charges because, uh, *checks notes* he didn’t mean to do it. That made me sooooo mad, lol. So I started I Shall Believe as a Carly and Elizabeth story, rewriting the fallout of both Carly’s shooting and Elizabeth getting pregnant. At the time I wrote this, I’d say it was one of my more ambitious efforts that I actually finished. It’s absolutely an ensemble piece — Carly, Courtney, and even Sage Alcazar have their own subplots separate from Liason’s story.

Looking back, it’s so easy to critique it and talk about the things I’d do differently. I actually have written at length about why it’s not a story I’m happy with in its finished form. I am proud of lot of it — the length, the scope — and the way I wrote Courtney.

At the time I started this (fall 2003), Liason fans by and large were not fans of Courtney and this spilled over into being terrible towards Alicia Leigh Willis. We treated the character like a moron and Alicia had terrible nicknames on the boards (Buffaho is…one of the ones that have stuck in my head) because she had a muscular build. I definitely played into this — if you read what I wrote early in my career, I rarely tackled Courtney as a serious character worth looking at.

I Shall Believe felt like my turning point as a writer. I’m not saying I never treated characters this way again (I’m unhappy with Sam in All We Are) but by and large, I always try to give characters a fair shake. I’ve come around to finding things to like about writing both Sam and Courtney, and I love taking a character that feels so one-dimensional and boring to me and giving them something else.

I learned a lot writing I Shall Believe, and I’ve learned even more going back and exploring why it didn’t work. I’ve always thought about going back to rewrite 2003 — which I have mostly in Mad World, but I still think I’d want to look at the fall with Carly’s shooting and Liz’s pregnancy and take another stab at it. Not rewriting I Shall Believe, because I’ll never be as interesting in Courtney/Brian or Lorenzo/Carly again — or even Sage whose subplot doesn’t work today because Lucas later came out as gay. But just taking another look at the world of GH at that moment with everything I know now.

I Shall Believe has its flaws, but I remember at the time that it was my first story I feel like people read and remembered and liked — like my first really popular story, if that makes sense, lol. It had a lot of replies and feedback. It was fun to write, and it’s fun to go back and think about it.

I wrote a related article about this: The Peaks and Perils of Pantsing: The Witness and I Shall Believe

What do you guys think? Have you read I Shall Believe before? Is it new to you?


  • I’ve only read it about a million times. I love every bit of it. I typically don’t care for the Double Mint twins because they caused my babies so many heartaches and trouble. But I actually like them in this story.

    According to Cari L on August 5, 2021

    According to Nancy Mcqueen on August 5, 2021