Misadventures in Editing: The Romantic Dilemma

Ever wondered what a writer goes through when editing a work-in-progress? Here’s your chance to find out. Take a look at some of the things that happened while I’ve been working on one of my novels. If you’ve ever had something like this happen to you, please tell me in the comments.

My daughter's first selfie. Isn't her hand pretty?
My daughter’s first selfie. Isn’t her hand pretty?

“Oh my word!” Celeste slumped back into her seat, rubbing her temples. “How many times do we have to go through this with her?” she asked me.

“Apparently a few more,” I replied. Amethyst found out that I was working on a new novel that focused on the slow-growing romance between the two central characters and she was….both jealous and annoyed, to say the least.

“I want to know why!” Amethyst huffed. “Why is it that some other character can have a romantic relationship but I can’t?”

“Love ain’t all it’s cracked up to be,” Celeste said.

“Yeah,” I commented. “Besides this is a five book series I’m trying to write,” I continued, “if I were to write you into a romantic relationship, eventually I’d have to Shonda-Rhimes it.”

Celeste and Amethyst toward each other with baffled looks.

“You’d have to what?” Celeste asked.

“What’s a Shonda Rhimes?” Amethyst asked.

O. M. G. How is it that my own characters don’t know Shonda Rhimes?

“You don’t know?” I asked. It felt like my whole body was going into shock.

“Nope.” Amethyst shoot her head. “Enlighten us, oh wise one. What is a Shonda Rhimes?”

“She’s not a what. She’s a who. How do you not know who Shonda Rhimes is?”

***Shonda Rhimes is the mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder***

“Probably because you never told us,” Celeste replied. “We only know what you write down.”

“Figures.” I shook my head, annoyed. That’s so typical for fictional character to blame their ignorance or poor education on the writer. Can’t they stream Netflix like a normal person?

I sat down at my computer typed up a paragraph and then printed two copies of the document. Pulling the paper off the printer I passed them out to Celeste and Amethyst. “Your homework assignment, ladies.”

Celeste and Amethyst looked at the instructions.

“You want us to binge-watch television shows?” Celeste asked.

“Yup.” I nodded, grabbing my laptop and purse from the table.

“Where are you going?” Amethyst asked. “You can’t leave. You haven’t done anything with us since 2015.”

I shook my head. “I can’t focus. I’m a little traumatized that you don’t know what it means to Shonda-Rhimes a relationship. Do your homework and I’ll be back in two weeks.”

 

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