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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589957 times)
Rev. Austin
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« Reply #2100 on: September 01, 2010, 11:11:29 AM »

Hmmm.  I'm currently going over the edit of my circus story and have noticed a couple of bits have been changed, apparently unnecessarily.  I was wondering if the etiquette is to take an editor's changes or if it's okay to ask for them to be reversed?  In this instance, 'telly' has been changed to 'television' and 'taking the piss' has become 'insincere'.  The first change causes repetition (television is used in the previous sentence) and the second one...it's like when Robocop was on ITV years ago and 'motherfucker' became 'melon farmer'.  I'm wondering if it's anything to do with it being UK slang...?  I don't see why it matters too much though since the story's set in the UK.  I'll ask them , anyway, see what they say.  

And that's what I'm doing today  smiley

edit: hmmm and 'nutters' has become 'crazies'.  I don't understand the logic behind these sort of changes at all  undecided I don't think it's to do with slang either, as 'bloke' and 'lass' haven't been changed...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 11:27:17 AM by Rev. Austin » Logged

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« Reply #2101 on: September 01, 2010, 12:42:02 PM »

was 'taking the piss' used in dialogue? if so, tell the editor: to piss off.
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Rev. Austin
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« Reply #2102 on: September 01, 2010, 12:46:00 PM »

It was a viewpoint of a character, as in 'although Sam suspected he was taking the piss'.  Wink
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« Reply #2103 on: September 01, 2010, 12:57:32 PM »

It's an edit for the American audience. 'Taking the piss' would be grounds for litigation in some states -- other words are to avoid alienating the readers. I've just gone through this with a novel due out shortly.

Bottom line is, if the editor's accepted it and you've given them the rights, they can do as they please. If you complain you might get it changed back but you run the risk of being known as an author difficult to work with.
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Rev. Austin
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« Reply #2104 on: September 01, 2010, 01:17:41 PM »

Really?  Oh crumbs.  I haven't sent my 'edits' back yet, just as well.  What about 'nutters' to 'crazies' though?  If they knew what it meant enough to make it 'crazies' surely even 'nutjob' would make more sense?  Unless they have a mental (ah ha!) stance on political correctness and 'nutjob' is a sensitive term?  I don't know.  Those crazy Yanks!

edit: actually the contract does say I give them the right to alter the title/text without my approval.  In hindsight that seems a bit 'hmmm' but I honestly have no reason to think bad thoughts about them...it's just a few of the changes seem really weird and I can't get my head around why they'd be changed for an American audience but other words aren't (especially when the story's set in the UK, so it makes the characters sound odd). 

This could start to sound an awful lot like a proper moan or something but I don't really intend it to.  It's just a bit peculiar is all.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 01:27:40 PM by Rev. Austin » Logged

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« Reply #2105 on: September 01, 2010, 01:39:13 PM »

when I'm writing for a mixed audience - ie American and over here - I pass my stuff through American friends. It's true that good editors will listen to their writers and if they don't have too strong feelings may revert to what you originally wanted but I advise to mostly let them have their head. They'll know Probably. And LD is right, too much arguing and you might not get a second bite with them.

Geoff
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Rev. Austin
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« Reply #2106 on: September 01, 2010, 02:30:20 PM »

I did suspect this might be me learning a harsh truth of the industry  Wink

oh well, onwards and upwards  Cheesy
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« Reply #2107 on: September 01, 2010, 04:18:54 PM »

I moaned on my private journal about all the edits and Americani(z)ations I was having to do for a novel set in an English town but I had to admit it made the novel a better one.

Nutjobs to crazies -- ask your editor -- there will be a good reason for that.
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« Reply #2108 on: September 01, 2010, 06:03:40 PM »

I've just had a similar thing happen with one of my stories. I thought it seemed a bit odd that all the spellings had to be changed to Amerenglish, even though the story is clearly set in the UK and there were quite a few very British references in the story that had to be left behind, such as the word 'chav'. It didn't bother me in the least, but it struck me as strange.
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« Reply #2109 on: September 01, 2010, 06:14:44 PM »

Did they send you the edits for approval/review, Rev? If that were the case, I'd say you could at least tell them you'd prefer it this way or that.

I had a story accepted at Pill Hill, but I didn't find out about the edits until I got my contributor copy. There weren't many, and most were for the best. But one still irks me whenever I read it. I had a character speaking say: '"Can we wait till a commercial comes on?" he said' which was changed to '"Can we wait till a commercial comes on?" he wondered.'

I stuck pretty staunchly to the 'he said/she said' tags, and I think they must've been trying to break it up. Had I been given the opportunity, I'd have told them to stick with said. Afterall, wonder is something you do inside your head, right?
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« Reply #2110 on: September 01, 2010, 06:20:51 PM »

Yep, absolutely. I wouldn't have liked that either undecided
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« Reply #2111 on: September 02, 2010, 03:44:16 AM »

Did they send you the edits for approval/review, Rev? If that were the case, I'd say you could at least tell them you'd prefer it this way or that.

I had a story accepted at Pill Hill, but I didn't find out about the edits until I got my contributor copy. There weren't many, and most were for the best. But one still irks me whenever I read it. I had a character speaking say: '"Can we wait till a commercial comes on?" he said' which was changed to '"Can we wait till a commercial comes on?" he wondered.'

I stuck pretty staunchly to the 'he said/she said' tags, and I think they must've been trying to break it up. Had I been given the opportunity, I'd have told them to stick with said. Afterall, wonder is something you do inside your head, right?

Well it's more 'make sure it looks all right' but I'm going to ask (politely of course) if a couple of them could be slight variations on what they suggested (ie crazies to become 'total crazies' and instead of taking the piss have 'taking the mickey').  I feel somewhat obligated to bend to their will because they gave me the chance to resubmit the story after the file got corrupted a couple of times on my end, which may or may not have held them up when it came to this point.

My Dust Bowl story got altered everso slightly by PHP but one change was an addition of a few words that clarified the sentence, and was cool, the other changed 'humorlessly' to 'without humor'  scratch this could almost turn into another thread if there wasn't the danger of it coming across like flaming  rolleyes
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« Reply #2112 on: September 02, 2010, 06:04:56 AM »

My Exit, Pursued by a Bee is set in the UK, America, Australia and in space. The publisher is Canadian - Double Dragon Publishing but my editor is US. I asked about Americanization knowing there are nearly 10 times more US SF readers than UK ones but the editor said he liked English words and spellings and reckoned most US readers do too. The exceptions were a few words that they'd understand better - eg purse for handbag, sidewalk. Some profanities had to change too - they take bugger rather literally as they do bloody.

Not sure what is the correct accent for space  cool
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« Reply #2113 on: September 02, 2010, 06:16:41 AM »

in space you hafta lipread [apparaently sound  doesnt travel in space -- so accent is irrelevant.... imagine lipreading in welsh for a bit......]
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« Reply #2114 on: September 02, 2010, 09:53:32 AM »

My Exit, Pursued by a Bee is set in the UK, America, Australia and in space. The publisher is Canadian - Double Dragon Publishing but my editor is US. I asked about Americanization knowing there are nearly 10 times more US SF readers than UK ones but the editor said he liked English words and spellings and reckoned most US readers do too. The exceptions were a few words that they'd understand better - eg purse for handbag, sidewalk. Some profanities had to change too - they take bugger rather literally as they do bloody.

Maybe some American readers take bugger and bloody literally. But some of us know what the words mean in the British context and like the flavor of the "foreign" words. I think it would be weird to read a story set in the UK where the characters talk about taking the elevator or having a few drinks at the local bar. 

The same advice given to authors about trusting readers to have a brain and not spell everything out should apply to editors: give readers a bit more credit for being able to deal with a few unfamiliar phrases.
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