#Amediting: 1st Drafts in Riding Gear, People

Dear inklings, there are some things in a writer’s life that should never see the light of day.

One of these things is Herself at the end of a frazzled, caffeine-overladen, hair-pulling-out writing session. Fortunately, I haven’t had a writing session of that nature since the end of NaNoWriMo, so we’re none of us in danger of apocalypse induced via zombified writer.

However, another writerly thing that should never see the light of day (READ: should never be shared with a mass of readers and potential readers and potential potential readers) is a draft manuscript.

A particularly good example of what can happen when a draft manuscript is accidentally released into the wild is here. If you want the short version without clicking through: It’s the case of Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun vs. the Internet. I’m not sure who won, but I kept an eye on those events as they unfolded, and they weren’t pretty.


Draft manuscripts should go to beta, gamma, and delta readers only. The adoring public needs protection from the horrors, especially from the horrors of FIRTS draft manuscripts.

If you’re an unsuspecting fan/reader, and you get your hands on a first draft MS and start reading, the first draft MS will sprout long, gaunt, claw-tipped fingers, reach out from the page/screen while you stare transfixed like a fluffy baby chick before the hypnotic gaze of the rock python, and rip your little fan/reader eyeballs right out of their little fan/reader sockets.

And then it will eat your firstborn.

I care about you, my lovelies. I don’t ever want that to happen to you.


I’m editing my way through what I’ve got so far of my low sci-fi Elevator People (working title), and I just found this gem, and I absolutely must share it with you. If you are weak of stomach or faint of heart, please don’t test your fortitude on this. I take no responsibility for any hypnotized gazing or eyeball out-gouging. Continue reading at your own risk.

Here goes.

Are you ready?


Cover your face and glance through your fingers if you think you can’t handle it but just can’t resist taking that dangerous, forbidden peek.

My draft manuscript boasts this:

There’s nothing special I can add to the resistance, but it was a into and out in riding gear all the way.
The moment he thought he’d identified the seriousness of the situation, there’s no doubt Lady Fair intended to sell Risk at a price that would let the Lady expand her business and bits of the fact of her absence whatever.
The admission rankled.

The admission that I wrote this rankles.

Partial explanation: I was scribbling so fast for NaNoWriMo, I didn’t bother using the backspace key to delete unnecessary wordage. Things ran together, mushed into each other, and decided to couple in a most bizarre and disturbing fashion. I should probably shoulder the responsibility for this hideous match-making, but I ain’t gonna. ; )

Also, whatever…in riding gear all the way, people. IN RIDING GEAR.


I now take my leave of you, most desirous that your little fan/reader eyeballs are still tucked securely into their little fan/reader sockets.


2 thoughts on “#Amediting: 1st Drafts in Riding Gear, People

  1. Keri Knutson says:

    Once upon a time my writing partner, Susan, and I wrote the first draft of our mystery novel Darker By Degree live in a nifty little coffeeshop/bookstore we frequented. We did it somewhat out loud, and with some set pieces, including acting out how someone tied to a chair in a wine cellar might endeavor to escape. It was performance art at it’s highest (or lowest, depending on your worldview) and more than once we reduced onlookers to fits of laughter. It never failed that someone would come up to us and thank us for the show. Sadly, it’s an experiment that will probably never be repeated, as we live far away from each other now and have lives that constantly interrupt our real business of writing. But, boy, it was fun while it lasted.

    We thought once about making a greeting card line featuring the bits of tortured prose we spit out in improvisation, but then we sobered up. 🙂

    • Keri, you’ve got me giggling like a loon as I picture you and Susan acting out novel scenes in a coffee shop. That is CRAMAZING. I love it. That sort of thing needs to happen more frequently among writers!

      And in my opinion, the greeting card idea is freaking brilliant. Sober judgment in such things is overrated. “Follow your moonlight,” and so forth. I’d buy ’em!

      Thanks for stopping by and dropping me a few lines! : )

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