By Andrew E. Kaufman, author of psychological thrillers
It’s that time of year again.
No, I’m not talking about Fall or Thanksgiving or even Santa's much awaited visit (although, coincidentally, these things always happen around the same time). I’m talking about Deadline Fast Approaching Time. I’m talking about Deep Editing Time, or as I like to call it, That Whacky Time.
|The Writing Cave in all it's disheveled beauty|
The stakes are a bit higher this go-round, because, true to form, I’m running a little behind schedule (It’s a long story.You really don’t want to hear about it). That said, the Writing Cave isn’t exactly the Happiest Place on Earth, just a very messy one, with an occasional bottle rocket of angst firing through it. Guess you might say things are sort of rockin’ here, just not in a fun way—the other one.
Outside the Cave, it’s not looking a whole lot better. The dishes barely get done, we eat what we can scavenge or hunt, and we don’t come up for air unless absolutely necessary (translation: sleep deprivation, minimal human contact, personal grooming habits taken to a bare minimum). Hence, the reason why, while walking past a mirror the other day, I nearly scared the crap out of myself. Staring back was some crazed lunatic. We’re talking the whole nine yards: hair flying every-which-way, sweats and T-shirt beyond disheveled, and, oh… those sad, sleep-deprived eyes. The only thing missing was a sign that read: Will work for the return of my life... and my sanity.
For evidence of my self-abuse, I present the following exhibits, where you will find a few excerpts from the manuscript:
A few minutes later, there are no more tears left to cry. <<You sure about that? 'Cuz so far in this chapter, I've counted ten. Bet he's got a few more>>
I gaze out, marveling at the miles of open-spaced freedom, a backdrop so stunning that it defies words. <<How about taking a stab at it anyway, since, like, that's kinda what we do here?>>
I look up toward the sky and see glistening stars against a velvety backdrop <<Brilliant. All we need now is a paper moon>>
I lean back and take in a cleansing breath <<He already took one of those in the last paragraph. I'm thinking he should be clean by now>>
On the road, my mind begins lethargically wandering <<kinda like this sentence, huh?>>
I smile at him, and he smiles back <<sure is a whole lot of smiling going on here. Did I miss the joke about unimpressive beat actions?>>
The glimpses, although slow at first, were steadily building. The father I so deeply loved and admired, with whom I shared such immeasurable closeness, was gradually slipping away. << I'm thinking a few of those adverbs need to slip away, while we're at it.>>
The point of this rather humiliating little display? If you think those words just flow onto the pages, think again. A lot has to come before that. Since I write thrillers, there is blood (but I try to keep that on the pages), then comes the sweat, followed by, of course, the tears.
And that, my friend, is how you make a book.
At least in my world.