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Just around the corner...


TracyMN

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Yes, I said just around the corner, from Rick Beck:

"Outside the Foul Lines" returns to AD,

and though it's probably supposed to go

in that other section, but i'm lazy... look

for "Gay Boy Running" very soon at

Codey's World.

:hehe:

Tracy

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  • 8 months later...

I just finished proofing the seventh chapter of OTFL-AMS, and realized that talking TO Rick tends to keep me from

talking ABOUT him. This is I think a disservice to him and his work and is rather uncharacteristic of my tendency toward telling

everyone what I think about everything...(you think?!)

So, what I have to say about OTFL is that there is such an easy continuity to the story and the writing projects this, I think, perfectly.

I think the writers here might have long known what it has taken me quite some time and a lot of prying questions to find out--that

good work always comes from hard work, and whether it is apparent or not, an easy flow is a rare joy.

Hats off to Rick, who had lesser intentions for this story than it has become, to his benefit and to ours. Here's also, to work that

dictates its own terms.

Tracy

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I just finished proofing the seventh chapter of OTFL-AMS, and realized that talking TO Rick tends to keep me from

talking ABOUT him. This is I think a disservice to him and his work and is rather uncharacteristic of my tendency toward telling

everyone what I think about everything...(you think?!)

Tracy

Tracy, you bring up a good point. When I edit something I'm very reluctant to go into a forum and praise the work. If I'm named as editor in the story I certainly wouldn't do so under any circumstances, but if I'm not named should I talk about the story and/or the author? Sometimes I feel bad that the story isn't getting much feedback, and that by failing to comment favorably is, as you say, a disservice to both the story and the author.

What do others here think about this question? Is it inappropriate for a story's editors to praise the story online? To praise the author online?

Colin :lol:

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I started with The Farm Hand, Steven, and it will probably always be my favorite.

I hadn't considered that it might be inappropriate, nor would I have known to do so, Colin, and however unintentional the instructional value of your response is for me, I am sincerely grateful for it.

I'm sure that as writers yourselves there are things you understand about what role an editor plays in another writers process; being a reader with an eye for spelling and simple grammatical errors allowed me some small entrance into what is in reality a much larger responsibility than I would be aware of. I was more thinking that I might be considered biased. That I might be stepping out of bounds out of ignorance is a far greater concern.

Would you explain a bit more about the significance of your being named or not, and what it is or isn't about the connection of praise and editing? And please take that as a request for illustration of what I find to be a compelling line of thinking. I want to get it and obviously I have nothing to base any assumptions on. :-)

Thanks again, Colin, and for extending an invitation to the group.

Tracy

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Tracy, you bring up a good point. When I edit something I'm very reluctant to go into a forum and praise the work. If I'm named as editor in the story I certainly wouldn't do so under any circumstances, but if I'm not named should I talk about the story and/or the author? Sometimes I feel bad that the story isn't getting much feedback, and that by failing to comment favorably is, as you say, a disservice to both the story and the author.

What do others here think about this question? Is it inappropriate for a story's editors to praise the story online? To praise the author online?

Colin :cat:

Editors are entitled to an opinion Colin, and also in my view, entitled to make that opinion known, if they wish, and if they declare their involvement in the story.

Presumably the editor would also have some knowledge of how the author would feel about his editor discussing the work, and act appropriately.

Praising the author should never be a problem.

Obviously statements about how wonderful the editing is, would appear to be somewhat ego-centric and might be best avoided, but discussing the story is fine.

Also I think it would be helpful to other authors and editors if discussion revealed the ease or difficulties the editor encountered in editing, but again it would be best to clear it with the author, first. (Objective, detached accounts which do not reveal author or story are also possible without embarrassing anyone.)

I'm not suggesting that an editor, or an an author for that matter, should discuss their personal, professional relationship which developed during the editing process, but I don't think there is anything wrong with an editor revealing how happy they were to offer their contribution to help the author as best they could through the editing process, or even revealing anecdotes that amused them both, even if that amusement was later, rather than when it occurred. :shock:

It's really matter for the author and editor to decide.

Some authors may not want the editing process discussed at all, and I see that as something between the editor and the author to reconcile without external pressure.

One of the reasons we have these forums is so authors, editors and our readers can discuss such matters, and I encourage that as much as possible.

However, that said, my theatrical background taught me to always acknowledge those who contributed to the final work, so I have always believed in giving credit to my editors, unless they wished to remain incognito.

I would be disappointed to find an undeclared editor criticising my work publicly as if they were not involved in its creation, but I am so starved for feedback, I doubt I would be angry about it. (spammers and trolls should remember I have access to the forum guillotine. :lol: Members have nothing to fear but my amorous attentions.) :cry:

The issue becomes cloudy where an author rejects a large amount of an editor's suggestions and then adopts someone else's editing. In that circumstance then maybe silence is golden, because no one knows about it or needs to know, except the author and the editor involved. Best leave the gossip for the Hollywood columnists.

I guess I would like to see editors, inspirations, sources, and immediate influences, acknowledged in our stories, but only where this did not become a burden for either the reader or the author, but it has to be voluntary rather than a mandate, (even if we do all want one of those.) :closet:

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When I edit something I'm very reluctant to go into a forum and praise the work. If I'm named as editor in the story I certainly wouldn't do so under any circumstances, but if I'm not named should I talk about the story and/or the author? Sometimes I feel bad that the story isn't getting much feedback, and that by failing to comment favorably is, as you say, a disservice to both the story and the author.

What do others here think about this question? Is it inappropriate for a story's editors to praise the story online? To praise the author online?

Colin :lol:

I feel exactly the same. When I edit something, I'm involved, even if only tangentially, in the production of the story. To extol it in a forum would be the equivalent to lauding one of my own stories, which would feel decidedly icky.

And I understand and am sympathetic with feeling terrible when a great story isn't receiving much acclaim. I've been in that situation, wanting badly to scream out and sell a story's virtues. It just doesn't, hasn't, felt proper, and I've refrained.

C

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I guess I would like to see editors, inspirations, sources, and immediate influences, acknowledged in our stories, but only where this did not become a burden for either the reader or the author, but it has to be voluntary rather than a mandate, (even if we do all want one of those.) :lol:

In general I don't like to be mentioned as an editor. Some authors ask me if I want to be mentioned, some don't. If they ask, I almost always tell them I'd just as soon not be cited. If they don't ask, and I don't tell them my wishes, then I certainly can't complain if they do mention me.

I have a reason I don't like to have my name added to another writer's story. For those that haven't done any editing, you might be surprised what it's like. It's different with different writers, but most writers have an ego. Most feel the words they've written are pretty special, and they fight like cats in a burlap sack when you suggest, very nicely, that they change a few of them.

They can get defensive, then truculent, then hostile, then downright pugnacious. And that's just me.

Others aren't that way at all. They thank you for each suggestion you make, and never once tell you what an idiot you are.

But none of that is the reason I don't want to be cited. My reason is, all of them, the nice ones and that fiery bastard, use only a portion of my suggested changes. None of them use them all. All of them leave things unchanged I'd like to see changed. And usually, they'll make changes to the story after I've had my crack at it, and some of those changes desperately need editing, editing which isn't forthcoming.

So I worry that people reading the story who find mistakes, or a phrase lacking elegance, will attribute this to a poor editing job. They have no idea what dialog occurred between editor and author, and whose decision prevailed. So, even if the author is quite flattering and complimentary when he includes my name, I'd just as soon he didn't do it.

C

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Cole, that is why I put the proviso about these things not being a burden to the author or readers.

I doubt however that an editor and author ever get to the point of 'lift off' that can happen when an actor, playwright and director all ignite their egos in the name of art, box office returns or determination of whose production it really is. Not a pretty sight.

That is also why I stated it is best for those kinds of discussions to avoid the gossip mill. Public extension of heated argument is not the objective.

However there are people who like to discuss their work openly with the understanding of respect for all those involved, and they should have that opportunity.

I have also seen many authors thank the "contributing editors" without any further elaboration.

As for editing suggestions being ignored, I think it is also important to see that authors are often in a state of learning and developing, and why something is wrong may not always appreciated immediately. I see open discussions as being an opportunity to be helpful for people to see both sides of the editing/creative process.

Also visionary works may not always be subject to all the rules of writing. Sometimes the rules need to broken so the author can realise why they should or should not be followed in relation to what they are trying to achieve.

As I said there is no compulsion in discussing these matters, it is and should be, a personal decision, and one we all must respect. :lol:

I would like to add that I have seen sensitive souls destroyed at the hands of those who do not understand the talent they criticise. No matter how much we might say any feedback is good, unrelenting criticism is almost as bad as being totally ignored.

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Cole, that is why I put the proviso about these things not being a burden to the author or readers.

I doubt however that an editor and author ever get to the point of 'lift off' that can happen when an actor, playwright and director all ignite their egos in the name of art, box office returns or determination of whose production it really is. Not a pretty sight.

That is also why I stated it is best for those kinds of discussions to avoid the gossip mill. Public extension of heated argument is not the objective.

However there are people who like to discuss their work openly with the understanding of respect for all those involved, and they should have that opportunity.

I have also seen many authors thank the "contributing editors" without any further elaboration.

As for editing suggestions being ignored, I think it is also important to see that authors are often in a state of learning and developing, and why something is wrong may not always appreciated immediately. I see open discussions as being an opportunity to be helpful for people to see both sides of the editing/creative process.

Also visionary works may not always be subject to all the rules of writing. Sometimes the rules need to broken so the author can realise why they should or should not be followed in relation to what they are trying to achieve.

As I said there is no compulsion in discussing these matters, it is and should be, a personal decision, and one we all must respect. :lol:

I would like to add that I have seen sensitive souls destroyed at the hands of those who do not understand the talent they criticise. No matter how much we might say any feedback is good, unrelenting criticism is almost as bad as being totally ignored.

Des: I agree with almost all of this. I was writing a little bit tongue in cheek when I wrote about editing, but factually, too.

When I edit, I tend to explain why I am making the suggestions I'm making. I also point out unequivocally and often to the writer that the final decisions rest with him and all I'm doing is making suggestions. I have no problem at all, ever, with a writer not agreeing with me. It's his story, his decision about what should or should not be changed, and I don't disagree with that a bit. However, if the writer turns down a great majority of my suggestions, then there isn't much point in the work I'm doing on his story; editing does take a great deal of time and effort.

I like editing stories I enjoy reading for writers I like. It makes the process much easier and more rewarding. I don't like arguing over the suggestions I make. Discussing them is fine, and even fun. Arguing about their validity doesn't serve either the writer or the editor well.

I also, like you say, enjoy discussing my own writing. That's great fun and educational for me as well as readers, as they frequently see things in my writing I didn't see myself. It's why I like feedback. We can learn how our writing is being perceived and get an appreciation of aspects of it that otherwise we'd be unaware of.

I write authors whose stories I enjoy and try to include in my praise something specific about the story I liked, or didn't quite understand, or a question about why they did something the way they did it. I like that kind of letter myself, and so assume they do, also.

C

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When I edit, I tend to explain why I am making the suggestions I'm making. I also point out unequivocally and often to the writer that the final decisions rest with him and all I'm doing is making suggestions. I have no problem at all, ever, with a writer not agreeing with me. It's his story, his decision about what should or should not be changed, and I don't disagree with that a bit...

Cole, I agree and I also inform a new author when we start working together that it's always their decision to accept or reject my edits. The thing that bothers me is when an author disagrees with something flagrant, like a misspelled word. I worked with a new, very young author who wrote something like 'It was they're car', spelled argument 'arguement', used 'to' and 'too' interchangeably and randomly, and rejected my corrections of these and other similar errors telling me I was the one who was wrong. The story was posted with all of his mistakes, but fortunately I wasn't named as editor. He sent me another story and I replied that I didn't have time then deleted his email. I never heard from him again.

Colin :lol:

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Way to go, Colin, as these types of discussions are my favorite spectator sport! :hehe:

Well, almost spectator.

When I edit something, I'm involved, even if only tangentially, in the production of the story. To extol it in a forum would be the equivalent to lauding one of my own stories, which would feel decidedly icky.

OK, but if this includes proof-reading I have to disagree. And while I have sometimes been thanked for my contribution, it is never more than proofing, but that is a distinction that I don't think is mentioned along with an authors thank you. And in my mind I remain simply a part of the audience, and do not see myself as having anything beyond a decent eye for language, and to extend that to an author is, to me, another part of my appreciation for their work. And, I get to read early. :whistle:

To consider any praise for the story to be bragging on my part would involve somewhat pathological deusions of grandeur.

So I worry that people reading the story who find mistakes, or a phrase lacking elegance, will attribute this to a poor editing job.

That was me, until a couple private comments to authors encouraged me not to make such assumptions. I accept that it could well be that each person thought someone else would deal with those things, and unless there is someone involved for that primary purpose, it is the authors responsibility. If they don't consider those things important, far be it from me to expect that they should.

Also visionary works may not always be subject to all the rules of writing. Sometimes the rules need to broken so the author can realise why they should or should not be followed in relation to what they are trying to achieve.

That is a point I believe well-made, Des. As a reader, I don't require that everything be perfect grammatically for me to consider it good work. Certainly grasp of language is important. My own appreciation for language, whether a result of or the impetus toward all things "wordy", has had as a consequence a greater understanding of rules of usage, whether I actually can name the rule or not. So unless the errors are consistant and distract from my ability to engage in the story, I am not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Granted, degree of flexibilty, or lack of it, is usually a trait that a person applies to everything, though they may be more invested in their position about one particular thing or another.

Because my own experience has shown me that one can use language properly without conscious knowledge of the rules of that propriety, I have to add that it isn't necessary for an author to make a decision about breaking a rule; creative vision and the drive for expression of it is by nature a personal domain, and the vision is, I suspect, NEVER perfectly translated. If writers have to accept that they will rarely be perfectly understood, I see no reason for me to require a perfect translation on their part. There are variable aptitudes for and access to education that afford some a greater advantage for the finer points we are talking about, and neither of those things should be allowed to dictate value to art.

I would like to add that I have seen sensitive souls destroyed at the hands of those who do not understand the talent they criticise. No matter how much we might say any feedback is good, unrelenting criticism is almost as bad as being totally ignored.

The last line of my previous paragraph would be what I would say here, besides my thanks Des, for saying this, and for your ever-present sensitivity; ideas and opinions are wonderful, but real people are always the recipients of them, and the world we live in bears witness to the result of placing the impotance of them over individual considerations.

I just realized I am an active participant in the high jacking of my own thread! :omg:

Tracy

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