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Can an author review their own work?

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Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK

Post by EC2 » Mon November 26th, 2012, 1:15 pm

I know of a big name author who threw his weight about and said he would leave his publishers if they put the red pencil (or is it blue) through is deathless prose. It was around the time I was just beginning my career and my agent said 'What do you think of so and so?'
'Needs a good edit,' I replied.
She then told me that's what his editor had said and that he had thrown a wobbly and threatened to take himself elsewhere. He made too much money for them and they caved in. The book in question is indeed a massive seller, so perhaps he knew best, or knew his audience best, but it's not exactly tight writing.
I know another one who wrote 'stet' all over the suggested cuts in her book. She shared the same interim editor as me, who was bloody good at her job (used to be Dorothy Dunnett's ed). No surprise when the novel flopped and she was dumped by her publisher.
Sometimes editors don't know what they're doing and that can be really distressing for an author, but get a good one, and they are worth their weight in gold.
What authors need is a good inbuilt crap detector of their own to recognise what's good and what isn't, and the balance to know when to fight for their words and when to take advice.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal


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Joined: September 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Post by LoveHistory » Mon December 3rd, 2012, 10:20 pm

I haven't read all of that discussion but I'm hoping he's doing some kind of psych/soc experiment on the behavior of forum discussion participants. If that's it he's doing a rather brilliant job of baiting people.

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