Sunday Writing Prompt — Cards on the Table

What the hell? Alan thought after he opened the package he received from his editor. He picked up his phone and called the guy.

“Josh here,” the editor said when he answered the call.

“You arrogant son of a bitch,” Alan yelled into the phone.

“Ah, Alan,” Josh said calmly. “I guess you got your manuscript with my edits.”

“Don’t pull your down-home, woodsy routine on me, you worthless, spurious bastard,” Alan said. “Who do you think you are to redline my entire draft and to replace entire sections of it with your revisions? I hired you to edit my book, not to rewrite the damn thing.”

“Alan, you’re just like all of the rest of the wannabe novelist who write shit and then claim you can publish your claptrap independent of editors and publishers,” Josh said.

“Are you calling my manuscript shit?” Alan asked. “You so-called editors couldn’t write your way out of a wet paper bag. All you do is take other people’s creative work and tear it to shreds.”

“You think you’re a creative artist, do you, Alan?” Josh said. “Your manuscript has about as much creativity as a carbon copy.”

“You weren’t saying that when you wanted me to hire you, Alan said. “You claimed, with that deceitful smiling face of yours, that my draft covered a wide sphere of interests and with your great prowess to tidy it up, it could be a best seller. Were you lying then, Josh, you unscrupulous dick?”

“Okay, Alan,” Josh said, “I’m going to put all of my cards on the table.”

“I wish you would, Josh,” Alan said.

“Alan,” Josh said, “Don’t quit your day job.”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt (cards). And for the Three Things Challenge (sphere, arrogant, smiling) from Di at Pensitivity101. Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (editor), Ragtag Daily Prompt (woodsy), Your Daily Word Prompt (spurious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (replace), And Word of the Day Challenge (independent).

27 thoughts on “Sunday Writing Prompt — Cards on the Table

  1. lindakempwriter September 13, 2020 / 4:22 pm

    Yikes! He’s not a very nice editor. Great story though, loved it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael September 13, 2020 / 5:16 pm

    Great response I know how he feels.😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dora September 13, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    That tinge of realism goes a long way . . . Well-told story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christine Goodnough September 13, 2020 / 6:52 pm

    Good tale. Talk about a not-working relationship! Unlike your other commenters, though, I think I might side with the editor here. Hopefully not so harshly and I’d never red pen so much, but I’ve done some editing and/or beta reading and found many holes and not-credible bits in some stories!

    The writer may feel their work is top quality and indie publish their novel on Amazon. Hopeful Reader buys it — then sobs for the lack of editing. Characters’ names crossed over; two people speaking in the same paragraph; her Grampa died 12 years ago, but in Ch. 3 you read how she’s missed him so much these past two years since he passed away. In one case the FMC aged several years AND changed name partway through the book.

    Sorry. I shouldn’t have started. 😉 I hope your character sets his manuscript aside for several days and take another look at the points mentioned, though. He might learn something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2020 / 10:49 pm

      You make valid points. I gave someone a few early chapters of a detective novel I was attempting to write. He suggested I needed to study up on police procedures because my story lacked authenticity. He was right.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mister Bump UK September 13, 2020 / 9:32 pm

    I bet that conversation happened a zillion times, we could all use editors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2020 / 11:06 pm

      I know. I wish I had an editor to proofread and catch my typos and grammatical errors before I published my posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CARAMEL September 14, 2020 / 3:42 am

    Simon Cowell of the book publishing world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol anne September 14, 2020 / 9:49 am

    Lol. Great story Fandango! ❤ Loved it! 💕😘

    Liked by 1 person

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