New Starters

Good morning everyone, thanksBrantham Works for making it to today’s meeting on time. I know some of you have been working late – especially you, Chapter 26! – and I want you to know that the commitment is really appreciated.

But before we do anything else I want to welcome two new members of the team – Chapters 8 and 9, who are sitting at the front here. Could you stand up and turn around so everyone can see? Thanks, that’s great.

Now I’m sure we all miss their predecessors, but we were all aware of some of their frailties and, frankly, I think they will be a lot happier in the Retirement Home for Unwanted Chapters, where they can now play golf all day. Yes, Chapter 6, and that other thing as well.

OK, everyone, settle down.

So now we have our new Chapters 8 and 9; they’ve just started today, so we should expect there to be one or two rough edges to begin with, but I know you will all be understanding about that – we were all new once ourselves!

There will need to be a couple of adjustments, naturally, particularly at the beginning of Chapter 10. Nothing major, I think, but there are some different outcomes at the end of Chapter 9 which we will need to accommodate. Are you all right with that, Ten? Excellent, thanks.

Right, that’s enough chat for now – we have a lot more editing to do if we’re to get this Third Draft complete. Back to work, everyone!

Memo: Storyline Located

Place photoMEMO

To: All Staff

From: The Author

Further to my recent note, I am delighted to advise you all that the missing storyline has now been located. How and why it got into the fridge, behind the butter, we may never know – but many thanks to the person who found it there and returned it to its rightful place.

Having undertaken a short review, I can confirm that the current version of the story outline is now complete, and we can press on with the next stage of our project: writing the relevant changes into the manuscript for Draft Two.

I am sure that all team members – characters, chapters, settings and themes – will now all pull together as we push towards our next milestone.

Best Regards

One of our Plots is Missing

263-Parking-SWDear Characters,

It has come to my attention that the storyline for our work-in-progress has gone missing. It was right there at the end of Chapter 20, but somewhere during Chapter 21 it disappeared and has not been seen since.

Now, I’m sure that whoever has taken it did so with the best of intentions. As a joke, perhaps, to cheer us all up after a particularly fraught weekend slaving over a hot keyboard. I know that we were all feeling a little dispirited when, despite all that effort, the Word Count simply refused to budge.

But a joke can only be taken so far: after a while it becomes a little tiresome, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we would all be very pleased if whoever has taken it could return it.

If it helps, we can turn the lights out for a few minutes so that the character that has misappropriated our story can put it back, in confidence. Just place it on the desk at the front of the room, and we will say no more about it.

On the other hand, I hardly need say that if it is not returned, promptly, I shall have to conduct a thorough examination of the scene – I still have that fingerprint kit I was given last Christmas by Aunt Maude – and will leave no stone unturned until I have established the facts of the matter.

However, I’m sure that it won’t come to that, and the guilty party will replace the missing artifact in the next few minutes under the cover of darkness.

After all, I’m certain that none of you would want to accuse me of losing the plot.

Yours sincerely

The Author

Letting Go

I’m very sorry, Chapter Two, but you are going to have to go. Yes, I know we’ve been together for several months now, but it really isn’t working out for me. It was all very exciting back then: I’d just finished Chapter One – of my very first novel – and it felt like I was on a bit of a roll. The words just fell onto the page, it felt fresh, new, exciting. I was doing things I’d never done before – and all thanks to you. I’ll always be grateful, you know that.

But things have moved on since then. I finished the rest of the first draft a couple of months ago now, and I’ve been struggling to whip the whole thing into some sort of shape that someone else might possibly want to read. Chapter One has been completely rewritten twice: and Chapters Three to Eight have been tweaked, twisted and revised so that I can hardly recognise them.

But you, Chapter Two, have remained unaffected as I’ve chopped and created characters, added and removed whole story lines. It makes me think that you’re not really connected to the rest of the story. Dare I say it, possibly even redundant?  If you’d come later on, I might have got away with it: perhaps, halfway through, you could have been an amusing diversion or interlude between two more intense scenes. But right at the beginning, when The Reader will just be struggling to get to grips with what the story is about? Sorry, I just don’t see it any more.

And then there’s the question of the style. Way back then, when I first wrote you, I didn’t really know what sort of story I was writing. Now, as everything else around you has been rewritten and revised, you look as out of place as a 1950s shop front, alone in a parade of twenty-first century glass and chrome. Or like an actor who’s wandered onto the wrong set – a Roman Centurion walking down Sunset Boulevard, or a spaceman in an Elizabethan court.

So, Chapter Two, this is it. Next time I open up the manuscript, you’re for the chop. Maybe we’ll meet up for coffee one day – in a short story, perhaps. I’m sorry it had to end this way: but we’ll always have The Elephant.