Do you remember the Flintstones? You know: Fred, Wilma, Pebbles and Dino, “the Modern Stone Age Family.” Little do people know that there was another Flintstone–a son. They never spoke much about him and he didn’t have a role in the show.
His name was Grog, and Grog wanted to be a writer. Day after day Grog could be heard in his bedroom chiseling out the words of his first novel on a stone tablet. Tink, tink, tink….tink, tink, tink… tink, tink, tink…day in and day out.
Now Grog’s first attempt at prose included a Brontosaurus as the protagonist and a Stegosaurus as the antagonist. These two creatures were from feuding families and as fate would have it, madly in love with each other. Of course their love was forbidden but this made no difference to this dinosaurian couple.
Tink, tink, tink…the action would wax…tink, tink, tink…the action would wane. Grog was eighteen years old when he began this epic novel and twenty-seven years of age when the first manuscript was ready for the publisher. (So few manuscripts were completed in those days that publishers had long waiting periods between receiving rough drafts and finished products. Interestingly enough, agents had yet to be invented.)
Grog’s manuscript weighed seven tons when he shipped it to the publisher. He received word the next day that it has been accepted. Now he would have to begin to edit and rewrite.
Tink, tink, tink…edit, edit. Tink, tink, tink…rewrite, rewrite. This continued on for twelve more years until finally the second draft was complete. Once the publisher received the second draft, they were ecstatic. Now at last the final draft could begin.
Tink, tink, tink…final stuff, final stuff. Tink, tink, tink…final stuff, final stuff. After nine more years, Grog once again shipped his final manuscript back to the publisher.
Now the publisher could begin the cover art work and the back matter.
Tink, tink, tink…pretty picture on the front. Tink, tink, tink…interesting stuff on the back. The novel was at last finished and ready for retail sale.
Unfortunately, Grog was now in an old caveman’s home drooling into a stone cup and occasionally uttering these words “tink, tink, tink….tink, tink, tink.
Such was the fate of the prehistoric novelist. So the next time you feel like putting your fist through your computer monitor (as I often do) take a moment to think of Grog.
Tink, tink, tink…