Friday 17th August meeting was one of our most lively meetings for a while. And it arose when we were discussing some of the comments made by our guest speaker Juliet Greenwood at the Sunday Lunch a couple of weeks ago.
During her talk she said she owed a great deal to her editor without whom she would not have got her book published. She suggested that this symbiotic relationship was neccessary if you wished to a working author. And to write as an artist only meant that you would be unlikely to be published by any main stream houses.
These comments produced some lively discussion on how far writing to guide lines and altering your stories etc to suit either editors or publishers views impact on a writers integrity. Was it possible for authors to lose control and as it were for the story to be taken over? Ending in perhaps a compromise between how the author sees the story and the editors view of what he/she thinks the reader wants. How far should an author be prepared to go? It seemed from the discussion it depended on how much you wanted to be published.
Editors it was agreed were a necessary evil and a publishing fact of life. We either embrace them (not literally of course, perish the thought) or just go our own way. There are other ways of getting published after all.
Barbara's tale of the critique she received from a judge of a competiton she entered perhaps sums it all up. The judge deemed that the story had psycho-sexual connations! This was greeted with much merriment as we have all heard the story previously. It perhaps high-lights the fact that no matter what we write we can't stop the reader from making their own interpretation of it. And that includes editors.