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January 22, 2013


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camille minichino

So, is the process of writing screenplays -- where it's often hard to say who wrote a specific line -- closer to how describing "Homer" (who knew!) or Elizabethan plays? And, can you turn that part of this blog into a class please?

Pat Morin

The pens (quills) and personalities that touched the play, scroll, book of the past reminds me of the new authors today that utilize the feedback of a critique group, editor, friends and family feedback, and then professional feedback. The original imagined story forever changed. Although authors do have more control of their work, and generally find editing beneficial ... until they sign the contract. :) I didn't know about "Homer" either! It makes me wonder how much of folklore, myths, passed down by word-of-mouth, then pen, were stamped as solid truths from a person or a god.


Just had fun talking to a classicist in AZ over the weekend and asked about HOmer. She thinks it is possible that the art of writing memorized tales down may have become more common about the same time as one exceptional poet was "doing" a Homer recital. Hence, one really good version of the original bunch of stories got recorded. Interesting concept. Won't go into the details of why the many stories were blended and why that is known because I am not the expert, but the transition from memory to written work produces a different artwork.

Pat Morin

Actors/poets back then, must have had exceptional memories, I think. But writing down from memory the collection of thoughts/poems for further public oration, fostering the beginning of the saved word, is a very interesting concept. I agree, creating a very different artwork.

Carole Price

A reader blamed my editor. She said she gave me 4 stars instead of 5 because the "editor" should have picked up on a wrong word choice. No matter how many hands a book goes through, there are oversights.


Memory is a forgotten muscle, Pat. I grew up in Canada in the 50s and we memorized everything. When I came back to US, we took notes and I lost the skill of using memory. As for editing, Carole, you are right. Line editing is an art, one that almost no author should try with own book. Not only does the press do one, but I have a friend do it. Mistakes, as you say, do slip through.

Michael A. Black

Editing is an art, all right. But like the coach who watches his players from the sidelines, a good editor will realize that it's not his role to play, but rather to succeed through the efforts of others.


You are right, Michael. The best editor strives to let you do the best book you can do.


Wonderful advice, Priscilla! I had a story edited once, and at first I felt the editor was pushing me to be more cozy than I wanted to be. But then I realized there were really two stories in one, and the editor was just trying to get me to tell one. So I dumped ALL the cozy stuff, and she loved it. Making that call felt more scary than anything, but it was the right choice, and I might never have had the realization of what was wrong without the editor's help. That story will be published in an anthology "any day now" :)


I can hardly wait to read it, Mysti!

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