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dale
November 24th, 2012, 04:26 PM
i just today got my 1st slashing from an editor on a short story. i'm gonna sign the contract, anyway.
but my god, they absolutely ruined the flow of my language. i can't stand it. i'm actually 1/2 ass ashamed of it now.
oh well. i guess i knew i was gonna have to deal with this kind of thing sooner or later. i guess the bright side is......
it's getting published, but man......they sure know how to ruin a moment.

dale
November 25th, 2012, 03:21 AM
for anyone who has been through this, this is the email they sent with the edited version....


Here is the edited version of your story. Please go through and accept the edits and suggestions as you see fit. When finished, please return a finalized copy to me and we will go from there. Thanks!

how much actual power do i have to deny some of these edits without them rejecting the story? i've decided i can't let it go the way they
want. i'll let them have about a 1/3 of them, but they basically have ruined the story if i leave it how they want it. i hate to have them reject
it because it's a fairly well known minor league book publisher, but the way they have it edited, i'd just be ashamed to have my name on it.
do i have a chance of them being ok with me declining 2/3 of their edits?

Trilby
November 25th, 2012, 11:51 AM
If you really are ashamed to have your name on it then you will need go along with what you can and stick to your guns on what you are not happy with - this may result in the deal falling through or they may keep on negotiation until you both find the happy medium. If you are afraid of 'rocking the boat' then go along with what they suggest, take their money and use an alias.

dale
November 25th, 2012, 04:10 PM
well, it's a short story...so the "money" issue isn't even worth worrying about. i basically write the short stories for credits on a published works resume.
i'm just wondering if having what i now feel to be a crap story would be better or worse on my resume.

dale
November 26th, 2012, 06:31 PM
just sent the editor an email declining the edits. a year ago, i would have laughed at the notion of doing such a thing.....
of actually declining an acceptance for publication from ANY publisher. to be honest, part of me feels like a horse's ass
for doing this. hopefully i did the right thing.

Foxee
November 26th, 2012, 07:09 PM
If the edits are something that would turn your story into something that you don't want on your resume anyway then the publishing credit may not really be worth it. I think you were right to take the shot and if they turn you down, be happy that you didn't have to make a compromise that you really hated.

dale
November 26th, 2012, 07:25 PM
thanks foxee. your post just made me feel 100 times better. if this story would have been written in the 3rd person, i wouldn't have
had a single problem with the edits. but it was written in the 1st, and its effect depended on the character's eccentric, schizophrenic
manner of speaking in order to be the "dark comedy" it was written to be. the editor completely changed the 1st person character's personality
and wanted him to have the voice of a more sane, "normal" person. it didn't work. it wasn't funny anymore and came across as completely
lame. you made me feel better about my decision, though. i was worried that i had just simply let my vanity get in the way.

sunaynaprasad
November 26th, 2012, 07:30 PM
I understand how you feel. I hate when editors get overly controlling too. Not only do they seem to turn the work into their own, but I also can't keep up. Although, I think it's a bit interesting that they told you to accept them. I've been recently training myself to twist or reject suggestions. But these weren't from publishing house editors, they were just editors I found on the internet. I'm sorry to hear that they took over your story like that. I'd suggest accepting only what you think will work for you, and if they reject your story, find another publishing company.

Foxee
November 26th, 2012, 07:31 PM
I doubt it, Dale, your reasoning seems sound. If you're not going to stand by your work, who will?

Glad to be able to help even in a small way. :)

dale
November 26th, 2012, 07:36 PM
I understand how you feel. I hate when editors get overly controlling too. Not only do they seem to turn the work into their own, but I also can't keep up. Although, I think it's a bit interesting that they told you to accept them. I've been recently training myself to twist or reject suggestions. But these weren't from publishing house editors, they were just editors I found on the internet. I'm sorry to hear that they took over your story like that. I'd suggest accepting only what you think will work for you, and if they reject your story, find another publishing company.

yeah. i'm a bit new to how this whole thing works. i was reluctant to buck the editor at 1st, because i wondered if doing this would in anyway
blacklist me as being an "obstinate writer" unwilling to work with editors and publishers on details. i'm hoping not, because like i said, if i would
have written this in the 3rd person, i really wouldn't have bucked the edits like i did.

Jon M
November 26th, 2012, 07:54 PM
I think I'd probably do the same, dale. The only time I think I wouldn't is if the publisher was big time, like New Yorker or something. Otherwise, there's plenty of magazines out there and the way I see is it's my name with those edits, not the guy behind the scenes. I'd have to live with it. And I know from experience that I have trouble doing that, makes me feel embarrassed. So, kudos for sticking with your opinions.

Trilby
November 26th, 2012, 09:26 PM
I think that you have done the right thing - good luck in placing it elsewhere.

dale
January 4th, 2014, 12:23 AM
an update on this thread....i just got finished reading the sample chapters from my novel on amazon. i had written short stories for this publisher before and he never touched them. now i'm seeing he did edit my novel a bit. it's not a "hatchet job" as was the story i started this thread about....but it does slightly irk me to read words that aren't mine and noticing certain words taken out here and there. the editor didn't ruin the book, though. but still....it "irks" me a little bit.
*sigh* oh well. i guess it's something i'll have to get used to.

Gyarachu
January 4th, 2014, 12:53 AM
It's threads like this that help me accept that I am not cut out to be a professional/serious writer. I couldn't handle stuff like this. I would constantly feel the need to explain to everyone who read it exactly which parts weren't my writing.

Sorry you have to deal with this. But hey, at least it doesn't sound like you're doing too bad for yourself. What did end up happening with that short story though?

dale
January 4th, 2014, 12:57 AM
It's threads like this that help me accept that I am not cut out to be a professional/serious writer. I couldn't handle stuff like this. I would constantly feel the need to explain to everyone who read it exactly which parts weren't my writing.

Sorry you have to deal with this. But hey, at least it doesn't sound like you're doing too bad for yourself. What did end up happening with that short story though?

lol. that short story is my curse. it's been short listed twice, then dropped. the publisher i started the thread on offered me a contract, but i turned it down. it's now been short-listed again by a pro-paying zine called "dark discoveries", but don't know yet if they want it for sure yet. it's my favorite short by me. it needs a home. ha ha

Gyarachu
January 4th, 2014, 09:50 PM
Dang dude, such is the life of a writer I guess? (I really can't speak from personal experience)

If it's your favorite story, I am very glad you didn't allow it to be butchered. Hopefully someone takes it in! I'd be interested in reading it if you are able to provide a link or send it in a message or something.

Marc
January 4th, 2014, 10:46 PM
an update on this thread....i just got finished reading the sample chapters from my novel on amazon. i had written short stories for this publisher before and he never touched them. now i'm seeing he did edit my novel a bit. it's not a "hatchet job" as was the story i started this thread about....but it does slightly irk me to read words that aren't mine and noticing certain words taken out here and there. the editor didn't ruin the book, though. but still....it "irks" me a little bit.
*sigh* oh well. i guess it's something i'll have to get used to.

For a publisher not to get your approval before changing your work and publishing it is unforgivable. It's a pretty basic part of a contract that you, the author, will approve any changes first.

dale
January 5th, 2014, 05:37 AM
Dang dude, such is the life of a writer I guess? (I really can't speak from personal experience)

If it's your favorite story, I am very glad you didn't allow it to be butchered. Hopefully someone takes it in! I'd be interested in reading it if you are able to provide a link or send it in a message or something.

sure....

http://www.writingforums.com/threads/126386-Ten-Finger-Discount-(2501-words)?highlight=

dale
January 5th, 2014, 05:41 AM
For a publisher not to get your approval before changing your work and publishing it is unforgivable. It's a pretty basic part of a contract that you, the author, will approve any changes first.

he did have it. as he never changed anything on the 2 shorts of mine he published, i pre-handedly and somewhat drunkenly told him whatever he decides as far as editing was fine with me. really? his changes might have been good for the average horror reader. i tend to be a bit too poetic and purple sometimes. i personally love that about my writing...but....maybe not the average horror fiction reader does.

jayelle_cochran
January 10th, 2014, 12:38 AM
I wish you had my editor. She totally rocks. She doesn't say, "This should be written this way." Instead, she would say if an area needed work, offer suggestions, and then leave it at that. Basically, she knows how to tell you when something needs work without making you feel like crap, and your story is still your story. She even told me when we were talking about working together, that she won't tell me how to write my story, she'll just show me what needs work and offer what advice and suggestions she has. So far, it's all been great and I love working with her.

My point is, not all editors are harsh.

IMO, though, I would've put my foot down if the piece was so changed by an editor that the story was all wrong. There's a difference between showing you what needs work, and even telling you what needs work. But, completely changing things in a way that makes the story something other than what the author wrote, and to the point that the author is ashamed of his own work, is just wrong. I mean, it happens from what I hear, and it happens a lot. But, this is YOUR story. Yes, the publisher is out to make money. But, your name is the one that will be associated with it. It needs to be something you're proud of. A good editor would work WITH you to make that happen.

I'm sorry to say it, but things like this make me glad I decided to self-publish. lol

*hugs*
Jayelle

dale
January 10th, 2014, 12:48 AM
I wish you had my editor. She totally rocks. She doesn't say, "This should be written this way." Instead, she would say if an area needed work, offer suggestions, and then leave it at that. Basically, she knows how to tell you when something needs work without making you feel like crap, and your story is still your story. She even told me when we were talking about working together, that she won't tell me how to write my story, she'll just show me what needs work and offer what advice and suggestions she has. So far, it's all been great and I love working with her.

My point is, not all editors are harsh.

IMO, though, I would've put my foot down if the piece was so changed by an editor that the story was all wrong. There's a difference between showing you what needs work, and even telling you what needs work. But, completely changing things in a way that makes the story something other than what the author wrote, and to the point that the author is ashamed of his own work, is just wrong. I mean, it happens from what I hear, and it happens a lot. But, this is YOUR story. Yes, the publisher is out to make money. But, your name is the one that will be associated with it. It needs to be something you're proud of. A good editor would work WITH you to make that happen.

I'm sorry to say it, but things like this make me glad I decided to self-publish. lol

*hugs*
Jayelle

the editor i started this thread on actually changed the story and went FAR overboard. this new one on the novel doesn't fit into that category.
even though probably no writer likes their words being changed, even a little bit.....sometimes these things are done for the books own good to give it
more commercial appeal. i trust the current editor. he didn't in anyway "ruin my story" with his changes here and there. the 1st one i was referring to?
totally ruined it. that's why i said no and declined being published by them. and to be honest....if any editor told ME i needed to make changes myself,
instead of him/her doing it? i'd be very uncomfortable. that's their job, not mine. i am not an editor. i'm a writer.

jayelle_cochran
January 15th, 2014, 10:23 PM
I was talking more about the 1st one I think.

Also, with regards to the way an editor changes things...I've found that if someone tells me "do it this way and that's it" then I would be upset. But if they say, "this area needs work, here's a suggestion," then I'm all good with it. My editor an I were talking about this today. She said that my novel doesn't need a ton of work, but some do. Even so, she would prefer that any big changes be made by the author so that it flows well with the rest of their writing. If she wrote the areas that needed to be reworded, then it would be in her writing style and not my own. She told me that she prefers to show an author what needs work and why (ie. the passage is unclear). Just now we went through the changes together over the phone.

I think the difference is that she's more diplomatic when talking with authors. She understands that this is my book and not hers. She also understands that my main concerns are continuity, readability, and entertainment value. Everything else is grammar or punctuation. Simply putting a comment that an area needs to be rephrased or telling me what was tripping her, has helped me to make necessary changes so that reader isn't hung up on an area but it's still written the way I write. It was honestly easier than I thought it would be, and has made this last leg of edits to be very enjoyable. Then again, she did say that my writing was well done (I spent about 8-10 months editing before sending it to her) and that's why she didn't have to suggest a ton of changes and rewrites. I suppose it would be different if I had a lot more that needed to be worked on.

Then again, we all have our preferences. :D I'm sorry you had such a harsh experience the first time.

*hugs*
Jayelle

Robdemanc
January 17th, 2014, 06:45 PM
What I wonder is why they include their own writing? Is it because they think theirs is better? Or that they know what a general reader will find easier to read?

I think after spending many years writing a novel I would be upset if an editor wanted to rewrite it.