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  • #91
    Yeah, I assumed there was a copy editor, too. Now a simple (or not so simple) editor is like a personal agent of the author, right? Or is that just an agent, and the editor works for the publisher?

    The reason I ask is that I don't know how a lot of rotten books gets published. Maybe the publisher just wants to rush it to press? I mean, hey, people are going to buy a book if it has "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" on the cover, regardless.
    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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    • #92
      The Editor, capital E, is the person in overall charge of the Publisher's purchase of the book.

      The exact process depends on the particular author.

      For an experienced author with a recognized track record, the Editor is often the first person who sees the manuscript.
      In most cases these days, the Experienced author will usually have a contract before the book is beyond the rough outline stage.

      For the Inexperienced and/or unpublished authors, the publisher will have a staff of "First Readers" who look at the manuscripts and decide if anyone needs to bother going beyond the first page.

      If the First Reader passes it up the line, it will get scrutinzed further by a junior editor and, if acceptable, assigned to an Editor who will read it carefully and decide whether or not to buy it.

      After that, if the Editor decides to buy it, contract negotiations will start.

      Once a contract is is signed, the Editing process is pretty much the same as the Pro Writer.
      Although the Established Pro has a bit more clout if he/she and the Editor disagree on some of the points of style and/or amount of "Polish" the book needs before being sent to the Copy Editor.




      If the Editor decides Not to buy it, the manuscript will be returned to the author with a note.
      Depending on the Editor, that note can vary from "Sorry, not today" to suggestions for improving the book, a tip that some Other editor might be a better target for the sale or a request to send something Different next time.
      Like: Good book, but we've already Got 20 Time Traveling Vampire books, Do you have anything else?

      Last edited by bakana; 08-05-2004, 12:59 PM.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
        << .... It featured the phrase "the screen was bisected into two roughly equal halves." ... .>>

        Just out of curiosity, how would you have worded it? Montoya, you're making me paranoid, man. Now I have to worry about how I write, lest I will be branded as a hack. I would have used such a phrase, not to increase the word count, but to simply be descriptive. (Oops, I interrupted an infinitive. So did Roddenberry, oh well.)
        To bisect means to divide in two parts, usually halves... by definition halves are at least roughly equal. I'd have just written "the screen was bisected, the top half showed..." That writer instead made it a doubly redundant sentence and described the contents of each half in the next following sentences. I almost stopped reading that book halfway, I didn't just because I wanted to see the story's end. The ending was OK, but since the characters were not well developed and the story took too long to make things happen it was disappointing... more so because I picked up that book after a recommendation. To be fair that author has written some short stories that are better. And I'm actually grateful to that writer (which is why I don't mention him, so as to not predispose others against him), I realize that if he could get published maybe if one day I decide to write I will get published.

        I don't go around bulletin boards grading people's writing. You don't have to worry about it. To be honest I do notice grammar and spelling errors, because English is not my native language and I learned most of my English from reading for many years before I actually spoke it I tend to pick on sight/sound confussions that are very natural for a native speaker (some are becoming "natural" for me after eight years of living in the USA surrounding myself in spoken English).

        Splitting infinitives is perfectly correct in the English language...
        The dislike of split infinitives is long-standing but is not well founded, being based on an analogy with Latin. In Latin, infinitives consist only one word (e.g. crescere æto growÆ; amare æto loveÆ), which makes them impossible to split; therefore, so the argument goes, they should not be split in English either. But English is not the same as Latin. In particular, the placing of an adverb in English is extremely important in giving the appropriate emphasis ... In the modern context, some traditionalists may continue to hold up the split infinitive as an error in English. However, in standard English the principle of allowing split infinitives is broadly accepted as both normal and useful.
        (From the NEW OXFORD DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH as quoted by Michael Quinion in http://www.worldwidewords.org/reviews/node.htm
        Note that that author also mentions the split infinitive of Roddenberry in an article about the linguistic legacy of Star Trek, which I think people around here might enjoy: http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/startrek.htm )

        Those "terrible SW novels" you read would be an example of hackwork, full of filler, I imagine.

        Since Star Trek was (or became) in many episodes an adventure show set in space I think it is space opera.
        However I do not hold strictly to Hartwell and Cramer's definitions, but I think they do make a good argument, even if as NotKosh says they don't judge if the redefinitions are valid and acceptable.

        I should note that some of the stories that Aldiss included in his "Space Opera" anthology do not involve interstellar war at all. Asimov's "Last Question" is cosmological speculation. Dick's "Colony" is about colonizing a planet, and running into strangling microscopes.... (you have to read it to understand). I don't remember reading the others.

        As to how Science Fiction was redefined: this can be seen in how editors molded and "created" the field.
        Hugo Gernsback's "scientifiction" emphasized the scientific content at the expense of style and flow of the story. Much of the SF that rose from that point had very little scientific validity (I'm sure that it was full of what we would now call technobabble) and not very high literary standards, as its pulp (i.e. cheap, popular) magazine status allowed and sometimes demanded.
        John W. Campbell, in Astounding, raised the literary standards of the field and also emphasized scientific accuracy, he basically created what we now call "hard SF."
        Horace Gold, in Galaxy, had higher literary standards and was much less demanding about scientific accuracy.
        Michael Moorcok launched the New Wave, emphasizing literary values, and publishing as SF things that former editors would have rejected, including works of literary experimentation that had none or few "science-fictional" content. The New Wave gave us the term Speculative Fiction, to de-emphasize the scientific speculation part of SF. This was the movement that allowed sociological speculation to become part of the canon of SF, and raised the literary standards of the field further. A whole lot of SF classics and recognized authors that wouldn't have been published by Campbell or Gold thrived in this revolution.
        The Cyberpunk movement also expanded the field.

        Maybe the meaning of SF has not changed, but the field has gone through several changes that expanded its scope. Maybe I was wrong to call this a change in definition, but it has been a change in what is published as SF, the operative definition, if not the formal one.
        Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
        James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
          To bisect means to divide in two parts, usually halves... by definition halves are at least roughly equal. I'd have just written "the screen was bisected, the top half showed..." That writer instead made it a doubly redundant sentence and described the contents of each half in the next following sentences. I almost stopped reading that book halfway, I didn't just because I wanted to see the story's end. The ending was OK, but since the characters were not well developed and the story took too long to make things happen it was disappointing... more so because I picked up that book after a recommendation. To be fair that author has written some short stories that are better. And I'm actually grateful to that writer (which is why I don't mention him, so as to not predispose others against him), I realize that if he could get published maybe if one day I decide to write I will get published.

          I don't go around bulletin boards grading people's writing. You don't have to worry about it. To be honest I do notice grammar and spelling errors, because English is not my native language and I learned most of my English from reading for many years before I actually spoke it I tend to pick on sight/sound confussions that are very natural for a native speaker (some are becoming "natural" for me after eight years of living in the USA surrounding myself in spoken English).

          Splitting infinitives is perfectly correct in the English language... (From the NEW OXFORD DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH as quoted by Michael Quinion in http://www.worldwidewords.org/reviews/node.htm
          Note that that author also mentions the split infinitive of Roddenberry in an article about the linguistic legacy of Star Trek, which I think people around here might enjoy: http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/startrek.htm )

          Those "terrible SW novels" you read would be an example of hackwork, full of filler, I imagine.
          Well, technically speaking "bisect" does mean to cut in two equal halves, but it can also mean to simply cut in two. This no doubt came from a misuse of the word one hundred or more years ago, but there you have it. I have seen several SW authors (good ones this time) use the word like "Ganner bisected the first three Yuuzhan Vong warriors with ease" or some such.

          And I didn't mean you grading my posting, Montoya, just my future novels when they come out.

          As for the infinitive, I was only joking. I think nitpicking grammar that deeply is going a little bit too far.

          "How you doin'?"

          "Good!"

          WRONG, it's supposed to be:

          "How are you?"

          "Well."

          It's all fine and well to use proper grammar, but when Ms. Scholastic starts pulling obscure rules from her purse, that's when I get annoyed.

          But I don't want to give the SW novels a bad name. Allston, Stackpole, Zahn, Stover and a few others are good. But McIntyre, with her Crystal Star...rotten. It was just hackwork. No storyline, lots of babytalk (five year olds talking they are one year old), an erroneous villain, deus ex machina at the end. Just terrible. Oh, and how did she explain her writing the characters wrong? The blackhole in the system made them act weird.
          Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

          Comment


          • #95
            I have no tolerance for authors who think it is a worthwhile endeavour (lets be British) to come up with a new dialect and use it extensively in a work. I can deal with various accents and a few other things, but beyond that....

            The most recent transgression that I encountered (a few years ago) was "Earth's Hope" or something like that. It is the "Fisherman" series or whatever, all the titles end in hope.

            Anyways, in the last book, which dealt with class struggle, the protagonist was dealing with the lower classes, their dialect had degraded into a ridiculous form of pigdin English. After getting about 100 pages through it I just put the book down, and will never pick it up again.

            When an author gets so enticed by their lingual experimentation that it becomes a trial to read the book, then I stop looking for any further works by them. You just know that they are patting themselves on the back for their radical experimentation and genre extension. Frankly, I think they deserve several electric shocks to the groin, but that is another conversation.
            "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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            • #96
              Word'em up, NotKosh.

              But Zathras...now he has a kewl dialect.
              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

              Comment


              • #97
                I have no tolerance for authors who think it is a worthwhile endeavour (lets be British) to come up with a new dialect and use it extensively in a work. I can deal with various accents and a few other things, but beyond that....
                A noticeable exception would be A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. He created an entirely new form of slang for the novel, which IMO added more depth, more realism to the story.
                "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

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                • #98
                  I have no tolerance for authors who think it is a worthwhile endeavour (lets be British) to come up with a new dialect and use it extensively in a work.
                  There was a series by Suzette Hayden Elgin a few years back where the creation of a New language was the "McGuffin" around which the story revolved.

                  But, obviously she didn't Write the books in that language, because then no one would be able to read them.


                  Oh, terminology Defined:

                  McGuffin

                  McGuffin (aka: MacGuffin or maguffin) is a term for a PlotEnablingDevice, i.e. a device or plot element in a movie that is deliberately placed to catch the viewer's attention and/or drive the logic of the plot, but which actually serves no further purpose - it won't pop up again later, it won't explain the ending, it won't actually do anything except possibly distract you while you try to figure out its significance.
                  More specifically, it is usually a mysterious package or superweapon or something that everyone in the story is chasing.

                  Possibly coined by Alfred Hitchcock.
                  The perfect example is the "government secrets" that motivate the action in NorthByNorthwest (1959).
                  Another typical McGuffin is the Maltese Falcon. It gets the characters together, pits them against each other, but turns out to be worthless.

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