Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Publishing Thoughts, a Rant

Been too busy debating something on a writing forum to do writing today, critiquing, or catching up on emails.  Which sucks.  But I bring it up here because I need closure.

The point I wanted to make, but couldn't get across or wasn't believable concerned traditional/NY publishing and authorial control.  Namely that the average author had very little control.  Not over the cover.  Not over the final vision of her novel.  I'm not saying that is a bad thing, or that traditional publishing needs to change.  I'm just saying those who seek that route need to not only know this upfront but happy with it.

In a perfect world, an publisher or agent would take on a novel that only needed cosmetic changes--that is, this pace is too fast or slow, this isn't clear, this is infodumpy, this scene/chapter is repetitive, you mentioned this earlier and it sounded better there, or you need to mention this earlier for credibility.  Cosmetic changes.

What I don't like is vision-altering changes.  Such as, delete these characters, merge those, this one needs to be more like this, this subplot needs removed/added/changed entirely, or the last 1/4th or 1/2 of the book needs to be dropped and changed with a new ending.  These changes require not only a lot of editing but time and effort.

After all, why would I as an author submit something if I knew that something was wrong with this plot/character/ending but I just couldn't put my finger on it.  No, all this needs to be taken care of before then.  I am satisfied with my vision, and I would assume if an agent or editor took it on without a revision-list requirement first, then why would they want to change it so extensively?

That is why I don't want to try the traditional route.  Because from what I understand from blogs, forums, and the like, these vision-level edits happens a great deal.  By the way, this is in regard to newer writers.  I imagine those with quite a few novels under their belt don't get the vision-level change demands, in part because they have proved themselves and also in part because they know what the editor/agent wants and writes that in the first place.

And finally, just because I don't believe in compromising a satisfying vision for a novel that doesn't mean I don't believe in edits.  I just believe in editing to improve that vision, not change it.

Phew.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Now I can go back to my normal writing day.  This is why Internet and I don't mix well when I'm writing, by the way ;-)


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