Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Save The Goober

We're trying something new today. I'll post a poorly written manuscript which we'll call a Goober.Your job is to fix part or all of it. If you wish, you may add a little extra to show off your writing talent, and include one link to your website or blog.

Here goes:

Can You Save This Goober?

Just because she absolutely, positively very much ever loved ice cream, didn't mean he he every which time she went to buy won, had to remind her it wood make her fat. She exorcised regularly every mourning, newn and nite, like going bicycling, doing lots of skating all over the place, going around jogging every time she could get a really good chance to be able to do so and even parked her car far at the mol so she could walk too it for getting even more greatly needed wonderful exhilirating exorcise.

Hear he wuz making funn of her but he wasn't sew grate himself, just looking at his puffing when he was walking wuz enuf to loose her breath. Y did he pick on her? Was he thinking he was even better than she was? Wear was he getting that idea, coming off as being such a very great hunky marvelous one when he he never ever followed every each thing he was always and everyday, over and over, two many times for her to llisten without screaming very loud whenever she heard him saying it, told her to be paying attention to her diet.

She just new he wuz being two much of a criticisor, just wait and in some more very soon minutes she was going right up standing real close to him and and she was telling him off real good.

You've read the Goober. Can You Save It? Show Us How.

Morgan Mandel writes mysteries,romances, and thrillers. She's a
past president of Chicago-North
RWA, was the Library Liaison
for Midwest MWA, and is an
active blogger and networker.
Her personal blog is at:
and website is http://www/morganmandel.com.
Her romantic comedy, Killer Career, is 99 cents
on Amazon and Smashwords. Coming soon - her
new thriller, Forever Young-Blessing or Curse and
a re-release of her Chicago based mystery, Two Wrongs.
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  1. Wow, where to start? The misspellings and grammar bloopers are obvious, for example, he he, wood/would, exorcised/exercised, mourning/morning, newn/noon, nite/night ...

    The structure? It's a mess. I'd redo the first sentence to read: Although he knew she adored ice cream, he didn't have to remind her that it made her fat every time she went to buy one.

    I suspect that's only a band-aid, but don't have time to do more. I must say, this is a masterfully mangled manuscript!

  2. Okay. Here's my quick re-write:

    It would be the last time he made fun of her ass. Sure, she loved ice cream just like the next girl, but he had no right to run his mouth off each time she ate something sweet, reminding her it would make her fat. Like she didn’t know that? She’d been exercising each morning. Even squeezing in an afternoon and evening spinning class when she could. Somewhere, in one of the many fitness magazines he brought home and never read, she’d seen a tip about parking far away from the mall to encourage more walking. She’d done it all. Tried everything. The weight just wouldn’t fall off.

    But who did he think he was, anyway? It’s not as though he was on the cover of GQ. He had several beers every night, adding to his own rotund frame. Since when was beer on the South Beach diet? Her occasional ice cream treat was none of his business. In fact, her life was none of his business. She pulled herself off the couch, put her face into his, and let it all fly.

  3. "Yo, tons-o-fun, beer me."
    Then it got ugly.

  4. I don't know. I think I got that at the last critique group meeting and was to kind to kill the writer and put it through the shredder.
    Very creative, Morgan.

  5. My suggestion for this mess is to start over. Why fix typos and misspellings when the scene needs work, first?

    Jack has the nerve to call me fat? Look at him, that little roll of blubber hanging over his belt.

    The state of our bodies is what started the fights three weeks ago. We looked at each other and said, "Something has to change." We were both bursting buttons on our jeans and feeling lethargic and just knew it was because we had both gained too much weight.

    So we agreed to start on a diet and join the gym. In our first burst of eagerness for this new venture, we ate tofu and bean sprouts until I wanted to throw up, and planned to go to the gym faithfully three nights a week. I did, but he quit after the first week. Why? Because he lost six pounds that week. I lost one.

    The next week, he didn't work out at all, and I know he was sneaking Big Macs for lunch. But I didn't give in to the urge to follow him off the path. I ate my bean sprouts and worked out at the gym. He lost two more pounds. I lost one.

    Today, he reminded me again that I needed to go to the gym. "The weight is just not dropping off you, honey."

    Honey? He dares to insult me and then call me honey?

    So that's when I grabbed the ten-pound weight and beaned him. When he slid to the floor his shirt came up, and I saw the belly wrap he was using to hold that spare tire in.


  6. Well, I will try to give it my best shot.

    Just because she loved ice cream, it did not mean that every time she went to buy the item, he had to remind her that it would make her fat. She exercised regularly, and enjoyed bicycling, skating, and jogging. She even parked her car far from the mall, so she could walk to get that much needed exercise.

    Here he was, making fun of her, but he was not so great himself. Just looking at him puffing, while he walked, made her fighting for breath. Why did he pick on her? Did he really believe that he was better than she was? From where did he get this idea, coming off as though he were a marvelous hunk?

    She knew he was being too much of a critic. Therefore, she waited, stood close to her husband and started to reprimand him.

  7. To paraphrase the great Truman Capote, that goober doesn't need an edit; it needs a trip to Lourdes.

  8. I'm busy judging contest entries, which are giving me enough trouble, even though they're miles ahead of this example.

    And I agree with Maryann--sometimes you have to hit the delete key and start over. (Which is something I need to remember while I'm working on my own WIP and trying to use bits from another partial manuscript that the editor decided wasn't what she wanted after all)

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  9. Here goes:
    Marsha had had enough. Who did John think he was? He constantly criticized her eating habits, nagging her day after day, hour after hour, about what she was eating. So what if she had a certain fondness for ice cream, was that a crime? Looking in the mirror ought to be enough for him to see he was no prize, either. The next time he sidled up to whisper his poisonous dietary suggestions in her ear, she was going to take action, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

  10. "Who puts Ben & Jerry's next to the Lean Cuisine?" She turned to toss the week's meals in the cart. Her knees trembled, and her taste buds screamed.
    Still huffing and puffing after their trek from the end of the parking lot, her husband smirked and shrugged.
    She rolled her eyes and turned back toward the frozen boxes of heaven. "I've starved, worked out at least once every day for a month, and even lost some pounds. I deserve a treat."
    Before she could step to the next section, he grabbed her arm. "Your butt is testing the seams of those jeans already."
    She spun to face him. "My butt is asking the buttons of his shirt to perform miracles. Your six-pack a night habit buried your six-pack a long time ago."
    He sucked in his gut and straightened his shoulders. "I lost six pounds last month. You only lost three."
    She put her hands on her hips and surveyed his still-heaving, breathless body. Because you popped all those water pills. "These jeans happen to be three, count 'em, three sizes smaller than the ones I wore this spring. A serving of ice cream won't sabotage my getting in shape."
    "A serving. Yeah, right." He jammed his fists into his pockets. "Fine. I'll get real beer instead of that lite crap you've been bringing home. And chips."
    She grabbed a small carton of fat free frozen yogurt and sat it on top of her meals. "When you can walk across the yard without sacrificing your oxygen intake, beer will be your treat." He stood there, mouth agape, as she wheeled their cart to the produce section. She took the long route, bypassing the beer & chip aisles.

  11. I guess I'll be the East German judge here. I'd send a link to a basic grammar and punctuation night class to the writer and not waste my time on trying to resuscitate the dead. LOL!

  12. Morgan, this wins an award. LOL. Maybe we should create the Blood-Red Goober Award. No, forget I even mentioned it. LOL. That is decidedly too gross to contemplate.

  13. I'm enjoying reading all of your various "fixes." This is a fun post, Morgan.

  14. made your blog and can barely read it
    so instead I'm not going near it
    try so hard to see
    try so hard to be
    for sure...

  15. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much!.

  16. Ahem... if I miss something, it's because I couldn't decipher the original (and English is not my mother tongue, so it makes things harder for me). Here goes:

    Just because she loved ice cream didn't mean that every time she went to buy some he had to remind her it would make her fat. She exercised every morning, noon and night, bicycling, skating and jogging whenever she could. She even parked her car from the mall so she could walk and get some extra exercise.
    He was making fur of her, but wasn't so great himself - hearing his puffs when he walked was proof enough. Why did he pick on her? Did he think he was so much better? Where did he get the idea of being such a hunk when he never followed the things he told her - at least twice, and screaming - every day, that she should pay attention to her diet?
    She knew he was criticizing her too much. But soon she'd go to him and tell him off for good. Enough is enough.

    Phew! Barb

  17. What's sad is people actually post crap like that and call it a story. I believe the entire thing needs to be redone. Here's my take on it:

    The light flickers on as we enter the aisle, shivering in delight from the forbidden treasures resting frozen in their temporary holding docks and from the chill drifting through their glass enclosures.

    My hand runs along the cool barrier protecting me from my weakness. My mouth salivates.

    I sneak a peek in his direction; he isn’t looking. I fling the door wide and, as if the cold air billowing out has the ability to flash-freeze, I become paralyzed; only indecision is the cause of my immobility.

    Coffee. Chocolate. Cinnamon Buns. Chocolate Fudge Brownies. Boston Cream Pie. Cherry Garcia.

    Too many choices.

    “Close it,” he says, noticing my condition. “You know you can’t eat that; it’ll go straight to your thighs.” His damp sausages squeeze my bony arm and he pushes the door shut with his dimpled knee. “Your treat is in the next section – pharmaceuticals. Come on.”

    My feet refuse to cooperate as he tugs my away from my desire.

    “Come on, fat-ass,” he repeats, pulling me down the aisle. Breathing heavily from the effort of dragging me, he puffs out, “You’re. Making. A. Scene.”

    He thrusts me into the rack of boxes promising miracles.

    “Which will it be? Cleanse your system? Speed up your metabolism? Dissolve the fat with a pill and glass of water?”

    The pig slaps my rear, startling me out of my dream of bananas and cherries and whipped cream.

    “Why don’t you get all three? You need it.”

    I imagine forcing him to swallow the poison while I devour spoonful after spoonful of Neapolitan ice cream; my size six fat-cells rejoicing at the end of their starvation. As I pick up the box guaranteeing my success at becoming his Barbie doll, the light flickers off down the vacant aisle.

  18. @ Keena Kincaide - I agree!
    @ Penelope - I love your take on it. In fact, I think I've seen that couple at the grocery store before.

    Thanks Morgan for the fun way to start off the day!

  19. Maybe this is a little better:

    Allie absolutely positively loved and adored ice cream. But every time she ordered some, Bo had to point out how fattening it was.

    Hey, she exercised regularly every morning, noon and night. She cycled and skated everywhere. She went jogging every time she got the chance and even parked her car out in the far reaches of the mall parking lot so extra walk would help her stay trim.

    She wondered why Bo constantly made fun of her. Hey, he wasn't so hot either. When they went walkiing Allie's breast swelled in superiority as Bo huffed and puffed. But she never said anything.

    Why did he like to belittle her? Did Bo really think he was better than she was?

    Did he think it made him more of a hunk when every sentence that came out of his mouth ended with some reference to her diet. Sometimes it was all Allie could do not to scream.

    Well, she'd had enough. Just wait, she thought. In a few minutes I'm going to be standing up to him, face to face and I'm finally going to tell him off real good.

  20. Below is my attempt!

    She loved ice cream beyond all else. Every time she thought about buying one, she didn’t need him reminding her that it would make her fat. She exercised regularly. Morning, noon and night, she could be found bicycling, skating, or jogging. She even parked her car as far away from the ice cream parlor entrance as possible simply to squeeze in a few extra minutes of exercise.

    Here he was making fun of her weight, and he wasn’t in all that great of shape himself. All of his panting and puffing on their walks around the block was enough to make her loose her breath and her appetite.

    She was fed up with his constant criticism. Very soon, she was going to stand up to him and give him a piece of her mind, but first she needed to polish off her mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.

  21. Good: voice- intelligent uneducated persona with breathless anger gaining momentum reminds me of Gayle Jones
    Like: "every which time", over use of adjectives
    Distracting: 1) misspellings are inconsistent: won-one, grate-greatly-great, wuz-wasn't-was, 2) words maybe wouldn't use:
    remind, "greatly needed", 3) Most of the misspellings are homophones-- dialect or syndrome? 4) Mistypings-- funn, llisten-- are they really the way she'd spell?-- don't think she's typing this, 5) run-ons fit but sometimes are too tough to follow.
    Rewrite: Started to go for the dialect or consistent misspellings but it was too much for me. Left few misspellings, but tried to keep the flavor.

    Just because she absolutely, positively, very much and forever loved ice cream, didn't mean he, every which time she went to buy one, had to remind her it would make her fat. She exorcised regularly, like going bicycling, skating all over the place, going around jogging every time she could get a good chance do it. She even parked her car far at the mall so she could walk to it getting even more wonderful exhilarating exorcise.

    Here he was making fun of her but he weren't so great himself, just looking at his puffing when he was walking was enough to lose her breath. Why'd he pick on her? Was he thinking he was better than she was? Where was he getting that idea? Trying to come off as being such a very great marvelous hunk when he was just a hulk who never ever followed a thing he was saying. Saying always and every day, over and over, saying too many times for her to listen, making her want to scream very loud whenever she heard him saying it, yapping all the time about her diet.

    His fat self was being two much of a criticisor. Just wait and very soon in some more minutes she was going to be standing right up close to him and telling him off real good.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.