A. Marie Silver

A. Marie Silver

Misadventures in Editing: Amethyst Under Arrest

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 conversations I’ve had with my characters while editing my current novel. 

“Get your hands off of me!” I could hear Amethyst screaming from inside the conference room.

I ran into the door and fell backwards.  No it’s not a typo.  During my absence someone decided to lock the conference room door, so instead of pushing it open to run through it, I ran into it.  How does that happen?  Who’s writing this thing anyway? I pulled myself off the floor and knocked on the door. “Calling all characters! Your writer is outside!”

I heard footsteps shuffling against the carpeting.  The door opened a crack and Mrs. Simmons stuck her head out.  “Oh goodness! Have you seen Victoria? I can’t find her anywhere.”

“She’s fine,” I lied. “She’s downstairs chewing on a rawhide.”

Mrs. Simmons smiled. “I’ll just go and check on her.  Do check on Amethyst.  She’s in a bit of a pickle.”

“Will do.” I hurried past Mrs. Simmons looking for Amethyst.  I found her surrounded by police officers.  “Hey!” I yelled.

All eyes were now on me, except for Amethyst who was pinned against the conference room table with her hands handcuffed behind her back. “What is going on?” I mean, seriously! Where did all of these police officers come from? I didn’t write any of them into this scene. Or any scene, for that matter.

One of the officers approached me with his chest puffed out.  Someone is going to have to explain to me why men think they look tough with their chests puffed out.  To me, they don’t look tough; they look bloated. “We had a situation ma’am.  This young woman assaulted an individual and we were called for assistance.”

I held up my index finger.  “Hold that thought.” Grabbing the manuscript off the conference room table, I skimmed the pages as fast as I could.  “Ah!” I shouted.  “Nope. Sorry this whole thing has been a misunderstanding.”

“How so?” the bloated officer asked, folding his arms across his chest.

I held up the manuscript.  “The pages from the very first draft that I wrote in 2011 got mixed up with the pages from the 2015 draft.  So while Amethyst was arrested in 2011 (FYI – all charges were dropped) she was not arrested in the 2015 draft.” I pointed to the mixed up pages.

“What about me?” A man I didn’t recognize stepped forward.  “She grabbed onto my wrist and wouldn’t let me go. I’ve never been more frightened.”

“Fair enough,” I nodded. “I can easily fix that.”

“How?” the officers and strange man asked in unison.

“In the next revision, I won’t write that you were afraid, I’ll write that you were annoyed….or something.” I pointed toward Amethyst. “Now please! Off with the handcuffs. We have work to do.”

“Now listen, lady,” the bloated officer said. “It doesn’t work that way.  She’s under arrest and I’m taking her downtown.”

I reached behind me, feeling around my laptop keyboard for that very special key. “Sorry, officer.  But you can’t.”

“Why not?” he asked, puffing his chest out even more.

“Because,” I began, tapping the delete key, “You are the weakest link. Goodbye.”

And away he vanished.

Have your characters ever gone off plot while you were away from your desk? If so, please tell me all about it in the comments. I really need to know I’m not the only one.

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A. Marie Smith

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