Editing My Dusty Old Masterpiece

You are privileged to herein grab a glimpse at my awesome skills on display, with my real time editing process. Everyone who writes has their own way of doing this, and usually they don’t wait years after the last draft to pick up and start hacking through again. However, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time pursuing insanely fruitless careers lately (movie extra, Presidential candidate, etc.) and am only now revisiting my completed but messy masterwork.

So let’s crack open the old Word doc and see how things stand, huh? I remember my first chapter being a real humding – what?! What the holy hell?! Seriously? This can’t be right. I don’t remember the first sentence being “Ye gawd Yardley, that crummy stumblebum?!” I wrote that?!? That doesn’t sound like my pitch perfect ear for dialogue at work. Can’t be.

Okay, okay – *track changes* – let’s get that out of there, and leave a note – “Need a new first sentence, cause wow.” Okay, let’s move on, see what…um…wait a second. So, apparently in the last draft, I combined a few chapters into the first? At least I hope that’s the reason…for all these goddamn flashbacks! Shit, there are two flashbacks – one inside the other – on the first page! I wrote it and even I can’t figure out where it’s going in the first two hundred words!

Oh my God! This wasn’t even a flashback! This was just a poorly constructed paragraph meant to give background and also foreshadow something that happens – *scrolling…scrolling…scrolling…* eight chapters from now! On the first page! How did this possibly slip through my perfectly calibrated internal editing mechanism?? No, no, no, this can’t stay.


Maybe this isn’t what I thought, page two might straighten all this…who the hell is Skippy? I have a character named Skippy in this book?! What does he do? How does he know Muckluck? Is he on staff at the library or something? How could I have just bodily dropped someone with the idiotic name Skippy into my flawlessly planned opening scene and not remember it at all?! When did I do this draft? Jesus, is this what I submitted to graduate? How drunk was I in 2007?

And this isn’t even a sentence! And not like a clever, writer way of doing a half sentence that means something, this is just a cheese grated collection of words and typos! “Never knew how Quinapalus run” means approximately nothing! I can’t even guess what I was getting at with that. Who is even saying it? It doesn’t help that I’ve somehow crammed a half dozen characters who I’m pretty sure we never see again around Muckluck at that podium. This could be anyone!

And now this is…okay, this isn’t too bad…ha, yeah, I remember this. Oh, this thing is salvageable after all. Crisis averted. Just a little…wait…this is in French. I can’t speak French. I mean, yeah, I know a few words, but this is like…this is a lot of French. What the hell was the plan here? He just starts speaking French? And how the hell did I figure this out? I don’t remember asking anyone to translate this for me. C’est des conneries!

I can’t go on with this. I’m going to have to find the first draft and see what the hell is lurking in there. I remember it being really long. And I think there was a fire at the end. Jesus, is there still a fire? *Scrolling…Scrolling…Page Down…* Who the hell is this in prison?!? What kind of book did I write? I mean, it wasn’t that long ago. Wasn’t this a light, fluffy satire of small town politics? What’s with all the French and the fires and the Skippy?! I’m a hack beyond all reason!

You know what, forget it. There’s a reason I didn’t pick this bastard back up, and clearly draft nine here was it. You know, Man of Steel is supposed to start filming out in the suburbs in a few weeks, I could probably send in a headshot, maybe get a sweet diner scene. They give you free pie for diner scenes…


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Filed under humor, Publishing, Writing

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