Editing – All in a day #atoz #editing #shortstory

angry-monkey-7399791

At last chapter 42. One chapter and 1200 words from ending this crazy beginning. The beginning ahh I almost remember it like a new bride. I danced, I sang with all the newness of  the plot, the interesting characters, a compelling read.

But too soon, the commas and the semicolons, not to mention the typos and misspellings, made my fingers bleed. Jealously, the main characters wanted a piece of the action; no proverbial monkey on my back. They sank their rabid teeth into my neck. Like the barbarous task masters of old, they whipped and hurled me into a dark spiral. Down, down, down – I went. The novel harbingers were portending my doom.  The once friendly laughter was dark and sinister; the whipping sounds stung my ears. I couldn’t wait for the end of each day, though often they threatened me if I left my perch.

“No tears. There is no time. Move forward. Make haste.” I smelled the stench of their breath.

“Okay,” I whispered to myself, but one taskmaster heard me and grabbed my wrist hard.

“Next time, I hear a complaint, I will break your wrist,” he growled. “NO Stopping!” I felt a bite in my neck, which I knew meant business. The blinds were being closed shut,  the shadows of doom closed in.

I got out one of my references ” I have to consult my…”

“You don’t consult anyone or anything.”

“Wait just a minute. Your master, the guy who wrote this thing, wants it to read well. You had better let me consult my references so that I can make you look good.”

“Oh, alright then,” he said almost sheepishly, the monkey backed off, more light came in through the shades.

I didn’t want to make the characters look good at word count  38,535.  I wanted to kill them – all of them.  Silently, I mused,”Ring their necks and let the reader see what they are like in ‘real life.’

“I must be going crazy,” I screamed at the monkey on my back.

“Okay, who do I start with?” I stabbed my ink pen at the different names on my hit list. “Hmm, he’s not carrying his weight. I say be gone with this character, write him out of the story.”

I heard a collective gasp, “No, you can’t do that. We could be next.”

“Hmm, good idea. Monkey you are walking on thin ice.” I heard a screech and felt a lightness on my shoulders, the blinds creaked open,  the stench lifted.

I can’t say they always behaved themselves, but then neither did I.

I did notice the occasional cup of coffee at my desk, and the blinds were opened periodically.

“Guys,  your master is calling today; you had better be on your best behavior.”

Yes sir, we are just ahead of schedule. The… The characters,” I smiled at the monkey, the task masters and harbingers, “are keeping me on my toes.”

He laughed almost like he understood this crew. Hmm, maybe he did.

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Nautilus

This year for  A to Z challenge, I am using the Nautilus as my inspiration all month. The shell has many chambers (at least enough to fit all the letters.)  You will find poetry,  You will find some dark stuff (as I am attempting to branch into the horror genre), You will also see a smattering of short stories or prose (some with children in mind) others as lessons that we can all learn from. I look forward to  meeting you and getting to know some talented writers over this month long writing journey. Please check over at the A to Z challenge and see what they are up to; they are a fine bunch of folks.