Misadventures in Editing: The Unexpected Novel

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 my current novel. If you’ve ever had something like this happen to you, please tell me in the comments.

Total. Frickin’. Mess.  I sat there at the conference table, bawling my eyes out.  The truth was, I’d been bawling my eyes for the last three days.  My kidnapping officially ended two weeks ago. True to his word, Sammi and his assistant mobsters released me back to my original cast and crew. That’s when the unexpected happened.  Sammi’s story grew, morphing into something much more than I ever anticipated. And when I figured out how the story was going to end – three days ago – it started a never-ending round of sobbing that I had to hide from kids and cats so they wouldn’t realize I’d completely lost my mind.

“There, there,” Celeste said, rubbing my back.

A mixture of tears and nasal drainage covered my face.  I wiped it away and then used my pants to clean off my sticky hands. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was just a short story for the group anthology.” I tried to force back another onslaught of tears. I failed.

“Sometimes these things happen,” Celeste said, tugging a strand of hair behind my ear. “There’s never any rhyme or reason to it.  You’re only a writer. You can’t control the stories that come into your mind anymore than meteorologists can control tornadoes.”

“I figured it out,” I continued. “I figured out who she was and why she was so special to Sammi. And then…she…the epilogue….it came…out of nowhere.” I could barely get the words out as I sobbed. “What if they hate me?”

“Is everything alright?” Amethyst stood off to one side, holding a cup of coffee in her hand. “I saw those creepy guys leaving. They didn’t hurt you, did they, A. Marie?”

I shook my head and wiped my face.

“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Celeste began. “Turns out the story they forced her to write is actually more of a novel.  She figured out how everything comes together and now she’s worried that her readers will hate her for the ending”

“Awe.” Amethyst sat down next to me, patting my hand. “Your readers could never hate you, A. Marie.  Well,” she hesitated, “actually, they could hate you, especially if the ending sucks. But that’s nothing you need to worry about right now.  However,” she grabbed my chin, forcing me to turn in her direction. “If you write that book before you finish this one.” She tapped the table with her index finger. “So help me, God, I’ll unleash a wrath on you unlike anything you’ve ever seen!”

Hell Hath

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3 thoughts on “Misadventures in Editing: The Unexpected Novel

  1. I have two novels of fictional characters who are constantly screaming at me to let them out to play. Thank god I keep them locked up. But I’ll have to let them out when I go in and edit them again – pray for me as I am praying for you.

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