Five of my writer friends have read the manuscript of The Color of Electrum, sequel to Journal of a UFO Investigator. They’ve given me their comments. Another friend, a firefighter, has also read it, looking for errors of fact or plausibility. He’s done me a great favor–given that The Color of Electrum is a thriller that turns on the theme of fire, in which Danny Shapiro is caught in the sights of a murderous arsonist.
So it’s time for me to start in on the final draft. The one I’ll send my agent in the next couple of months.
The process has gotten me to thinking, about the many, many drafts Journal of a UFO Investigator went through before it reached its final form. In this and future posts, which I’ll schedule for the first week of each of the next several months, I’d like to share with you some recollections of that long and often painful process of editing, trimming, and rewriting. I’ll also share, in the form of free downloads, some of the episodes that got cut from the novel.
Let’s make a new book out of these episodes–a book that I don’t think that will ever be published, at least in the conventional way. A book, nonetheless, that I think will be fun to read.
Call it, maybe, Outtakes of a UFO Investigator?
Says the invaluable Wikipedia: “An outtake is any take of a movie or a television program that is removed or otherwise not used in the final cut. Some of these takes are humorous mistakes made in the process of filming (commonly known to American audiences as bloopers). Multiple takes of each shot are always taken, for safety. Due to this, the number of outtakes a film has will always vastly outnumber the takes included in the edited, finished product.” And so it was with my novel.
A lot of what I cut, in the course of Journal‘s 14-year process of evolution, really was the equivalent of a blooper. But there were also a lot of stories that I think were really good, stories about Danny Shapiro’s real life as a teen-age “UFO investigator,” which had to go when the focus of the book shifted–as it needed to–to what was going on inside Danny during his UFOlogist days in the early and middle 1960s. Most of these “outtake” stories were slightly adapted versions of things I really did, or that really happened to me, when I was a teen UFOlogist.
Like the time when I was 15 years old, director of the “New Jersey Association on Aerial Phenomena.” And I, and my father with me, really did take flight …
Did you enjoy this episode of Outtakes of a UFO Investigator? Either way–tell me about it! Post a comment here or on my Facebook Fan Page,
by David Halperin
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