The editing of Mayonnaise Murders

Editing

Editing ain’t easy.

I may have mentioned earlier that Scrivener is, without a doubt, making me a much better editor. As I continue to polish up my Mayonnaise Murders Vol. 2 manuscript, all I can think about is how much better Volume 1 could have been if I had written the entire thing in Scrivener instead of  only the last few drafts. I know I’ve raved about this app before, but I just can’t say enough, and I know anyone else who uses it will back me up. That’s why I’m planning to release a completely revamped, re-edited, re-booted, re-tooled, and re-Scrivenered MM1 as a second edition when I debut MM2. Now that the training wheels are coming off (kinda) as I’m beginning to get the hang of this self-published indie thing, I want to put MM1 back out there the way it probably should have been put out there the first time.

But I refuse to kick myself. Hey, when I started writing and editing MM1 20 years ago Scrivener wasn’t in existence, and I can’t remember if I even owned a laptop yet. Plus Mayonnaise Murders was my first novel, one that I’m still quite proud of, warts and all. Look, I don’t think there’s a writer anywhere who doesn’t look back on past efforts without tallying up a list of improvements needed, and better editing usually tops that list. But remember writing isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. You learn things along the way that make you better. But if you don’t keep writing, you won’t keep learning, and if you don’t keep learning then you don’t keep getting better.

A good writer should never settle. Ever. You don’t compromise when it comes to your craft, which is why the editing part of the process is so critical. Every piece you write ought to be your Sistine Chapel is the way I look at it, and nobody wants to see a half-assed Sistine Chapel.

Meanwhile, as I press on toward a (very hopeful) July release of The Mayonnaise Murders Volume 2, I figured I’d share another excerpt. So here you go…

Chapter 10

I would shake your hand, Rodeo, but as you can see I’ve got a bit of a condition. Wouldn’t want anything like this to rub off on you, my man.”

Still seated behind his desk in the office, Rodeo’s eyes looked down at what appeared to be feathers on Butch’s rather large hands. He raised an eyebrow. Ronnie shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“Damn. Kinda looks like you got a bad case of feathers growin outta your knuckles. My man. Can’t say as I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before, and I’ve seen a lotta shit in my day. So you sayin this condition of yours might be contagious?”

Butch grinned.

“Just takin precautions, brother. Just takin precautions.”

“You know, maybe you should see a doctor about that. You think? Maybe they might have something for whatever that is. If  not, at least you could give ’em a laugh for the day. Between those feathers on your knuckles and those clown shoes you got on, I mean that’s a damned riot. What you think?”

Butch squeezed the arm of the chair. Hard. 

“I think I’m good for now. I think we’re  good. We good, Ronnie?”

Ronnie nodded.

“Yeah. Think so. So then, Rodeo, you say you’re gonna reach out to your contact at the Denver PD to see if maybe you can pull some of the heat off us? ‘Cause this isn’t the kinda thing we need right now. It’s bad for all of us, you know?”

“Yeah. I do know. And yeah I’m gonna reach out. See what can be done.”

Later that afternoon, Butch and Ronnie were sitting in a small diner about a mile away from Rodeo’s location when Ronnie’s phone rang. After taking another large bite of the ham sandwich he had on his plate, he reached into his pocket and pulled it out to see who was bothering him. He stopped chewing.

“Shit. It’s Rodeo.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing,” said Butch.

Ronnie shook his head.

“Naw, man. It ain’t never a good thing when Rodeo calls. Especially not this soon after we just saw him. Something musta gone down.”

“So then pick up.”

 

This is being cross-posted on Detroit Ink Publishing. 

 

 

 

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kaoblues
Writer and musician.

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