Monday, October 30, 2006

For People Unclear on the Concept of Editor


As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a writer. But I’m so busy with work commitments and all that I have no time to write. Writing is so hard and time-consuming. Do you think you could pay somebody good to write for me? But please make sure my name appears on the cover of the book, okay?
In a post I'm sure editor Eric Forbes really enjoyed writing he lifts the lid on some of the most horrifying (and funniest!) things that would-be-published writers have said to him. The kiasuism is astounding, the arrogance staggering, the misunderstanding of what the role of an editor actually is, extremely worrying.

Wise up! Don't talk about being published until you have a manuscript. And the responsibilty for knocking that manuscript into shape is all yours!


Related Post:
From the Lips of an Editor (19/10/06)

(Pic nicked from here.)

19 comments:

Chet said...

It doesn't help that there are actually books out there where the editor rewrote the writers' contributions, instead of editing the pieces, and working with the writers if major rewrites are required. Don't we have at least one local example that was recently launched?

bibliobibuli said...

we do? i don't know. i think now you have to name it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, how about naming it. Major rewrites are sometimes done for features, but whole novels ?

animah said...

Chet,

At risk of being a spoilsport, I'd advise you to be careful. Unless you have very clear evidence, don't say anything. Defamation law applies to internet content as well - something many people seem to forget.
It will also get Sharon into trouble for allowing it on her website.

sympozium said...

Chet, just email it straight to Sharon and we'll ask her via email! :-)))))

Chet said...

I'm taking Animah's advice and saying no more.

Sham said...

Oh and now I am absolutely dying of curiousity!!!!

animah said...

Completely off tangent, but guess who's in The Star today?!!!
See Star Two, page 4.

lil ms d said...

ive been asked to ghostwrite many times but let me tell ya ... their life stories were soooo boring they could be the century's next valium. and they think their lives will actually appeal to readers. there should be some legislation to stop these people!

animah said...

Oh, and guess who's in the main section of The Star on the topic of the Veil....

Sham said...

animah - thanks for the alerts!!!

Alex Tang said...

Many Malaysians have no idea what an editor does and thus expect much of them.

Talk about ghost-writers, this being Halloween, I guess it will be a good time to talk about them. I believe it is very common overseas to get a ghost writer to write for you. Otherwise how did so many celebrities publish their autobiographies when they have never published an article in their lives, or some popular writers manages to publish three or four books a year (and it is obvious from the quality and writing style that it is written by someone else)or so many management gurus are able to write their how-to books when they are so busy making money.

That is why I respect some authors who are honest enough to inform their readers that their books are written by someone else based on their ideas.

bibliobibuli said...

alex - ghost writing is common - and the name of the ghost writer is often on the cover with the celebs name. but the only reason they have ghostwriters is that they are famous and folks will buy the book. most of these guys here demanding ghostwriters don't have partic. exciting stories either.

yeah i saw myself in the star today and want to blog the article but no time. got to cook for an army of booklovers. also will go look in main paper - thanks for directing me there animah - i was so caught up looking at my lovely self.

sorry for the entrapment chet - but you also can't just leave me hanging. e-mail me and i promise not to blab here. (hey, it's handy to have at least a couple of lawyers on the blog comment!)

Greenbottle said...

i used to read jerzy kosinski but then he got embroiled in some controversy as some respected critics said that some of his novels were written by a PANEL of writers...hmm..but jerzy kosinsi was a very interesting person, and his earlier books shaped my thinking a bit ... and last i heard he killed himself some years ago...one of his books was filmed (being there) about a clueless president...sounds familiar if you replace president with PM..auchhh...

Eternal Wanderer said...

Well, I always hope that editors won't go too far in polishing and rewriting my works to the extend that the original context of the way the story was supposed to be becomes lost. I think editors should act more like a writing guide-cum-adviser-cum-proofreader instead of rewriting and correcting. The rewriting and correcting should first and foremost be done by the authors/writers themselves.

Anyways, Sharon, your interview in the StarTwo appeared today! Very interesting stuff! I've also added my personal thoughts on the subject in my blog today.

Anonymous said...

Chet does not have the courage of his convictions :P it's not slander if it's true. If it's not he shouldn't have said it :P

Chet said...

Chet is female, and anonymous does not have the courage to put his / her / its name to the post.

bibliobibuli said...

chet is both female and ... right.

Anonymous said...

Right, like "chet" is her real name :)