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DWSTXS
12-30-2009, 08:53 PM
I just read something that Medievalist wrote, which was in response to a question that someone posted in a thread. The question was- why one should start a chapter so far down on the page.

Medievalist's answer was:
It makes very very easy for someone--an editor, or even more likely, the typesetter, to spot where new chapters start, and, also, how many chapters there are, in terms of estimating the costs of the final book wrt to printing once it's been accepted.

Keep in mind that when you sign a contract with a final completion date, the publisher pretty much right away has to "book" a slot in the queue for being printed. It's one of the reasons it's Really Not Good to miss a ms. deadline.

#
Bolded was mine.

This answer got me to thinking about the HBO show 'Californication' in which Hank Moody the author is shown as the bad boy writer who sleeps with hundreds of women etc etc, and like almost EVERY writer/author portrayed in movies/TV shows. . .constantly is being harrassed by his agent/publisher to turn in his/her latest writing. The same situation occurs in my favorite 'author/writer movie 'Wonder Boys'.

So, my question is this: Does this truly represent how authors/agents/publishers interact?

I have a feeling that this scenario is just a tired old Hollywood fiction, and that real authors would never act this way. But then, once you're publsihed and hit the big time, I'm sure you'd get a little more leeway, what with the agents/publishers being unwilling to kill the goose that's laying those golden eggs.


ETA - the 'bad behavior' that I'm referring to is the constant missing of deadlines, not screwing hundreds of women a la Hank Moody. (although, this IS the perk I'm looking forward to once I get published. LOL)

NeuroFizz
12-30-2009, 08:58 PM
So, my question is this: Does this truly represent how authors/agents/publishers interact?
If it is, it will probably only be so in the short term.

ChaosTitan
12-30-2009, 09:02 PM
What Neuro said.

It's possible there are some authors who are guaranteed multi-million dollar best-sellers that editors will cut extra slack. But the majority of mid-list authors, hoping for that next book contract, will not act like a diva and they will meet their deadlines. Publishers won't work long with an author who can't meet the requirements of a contract.

the addster
12-30-2009, 09:15 PM
I don't know a thing about big time writers, so I won't even venture a guess.

I always thought since these characters were the product of writers, harassing agents/publishers/editors were manifestations of the writer's anxiety.

Thump
12-30-2009, 09:15 PM
Missing deadlines is terrible in publishing because it throws EVERYTHING off. It can mean the difference between a bestseller published at just the right time and a flop that came too late. It is _that_ important. Big bestselling authors like Stephen King can get away with missing deadlines because they have such a large fanbase which represents pretty much assured sales. Most authors should NOT miss deadlines. Seriously, you'd be shooting yourself on the foot.

ChaosTitan
12-30-2009, 09:21 PM
Here's a timely post by Nathan Bransford on a similar topic: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/12/holiday-repeat-no-ahole-rule.html

ad_lucem
12-30-2009, 09:26 PM
No professional relationship could operate in this way long-term. Maybe if you're a "rock star" level talent who churns out reliable hits--then they might tolerate you for a while just to get what they can from the exchange. Long-term, though, there are other "rock stars" and lots of other talent.

Anyone who thinks that, out of the billions of people alive on the planet, they alone are an irreplaceable precious snowflake is delusional beyond measure.

Hollywood probably likes the fantasy of the bad boy artist who gets away with anything because it sells. People like to dream, after all. It's simply the more down to earth version of Superman being impervious to bullets.

JoeEkaitis
12-30-2009, 11:12 PM
. . . the author is shown as the bad boy writer who sleeps with hundreds of women etc etc, . . .Sure hasn't kept plenty of celebrities from getting children's books (usually written in really bad rhyme and culminating in a moral*) published, scathingly reviewed in the library mags and welcome nonetheless in thousands of libraries.



*in other words, rejection note fodder had it been submitted by anyone else.

Samantha's_Song
12-30-2009, 11:16 PM
:roll:You strumpet!



ETA - the 'bad behavior' that I'm referring to is the constant missing of deadlines, not screwing hundreds of women a la Hank Moody. (although, this IS the perk I'm looking forward to once I get published. LOL)

scope
12-30-2009, 11:31 PM
Absolutely what ChaosTitan said.

DWSTXS
12-30-2009, 11:59 PM
actually. I think I need to re-state my question. I DO know that it's bad form to miss deadlines, and that doing so often would be a stupid career mistake.

What I really meant to ask is: Why are authors always portrayed in movies and TV as always missing deadlines, and agents/publishers are always shown begging the authors for their next chapter/manuscript etc etc.

Is that all there is (in their opinions) to the author/writer/agent/publisher dynamic? Seems dull and unimaginative to me. Surely there can be more interesting storylines dealing with authors. Look at Misery, and The Shining.

ad_lucem
12-31-2009, 01:15 AM
Sure hasn't kept plenty of celebrities from getting children's books (usually written in really bad rhyme and culminating in a moral*) published, scathingly reviewed in the library mags and welcome nonetheless in thousands of libraries.



*in other words, rejection note fodder had it been submitted by anyone else.


Please, heavens no! Not anything by Madonna or Seinfeld! The humanity!

My children have been given these books as gifts over the years (sadly, after relatives say "...because we know they like books so much").

I'm not for book burning, generally, but I was seriously tempted to roast weenies over the smoldering remains of those particular titles.

Bubastes
12-31-2009, 01:20 AM
What I really meant to ask is: Why are authors always portrayed in movies and TV as always missing deadlines, and agents/publishers are always shown begging the authors for their next chapter/manuscript etc etc.


Because it's a cheap way of creating conflict, I guess? When you think about it, a writer doing his/her job the right way is pretty boring to watch. I know my own life would be a snooze-fest to an outside observer.

ad_lucem
12-31-2009, 01:29 AM
Because it's a cheap way of creating conflict, I guess? When you think about it, a writer doing his/her job the right way is pretty boring to watch. I know my own life would be a snooze-fest to an outside observer.

Personally, I think a writer with, say, the personality of Bob from "What About Bob" harassing the hell out of his agent would be fun to watch.

But then, I like to see that sort of thing. I'm not well.

Or, perhaps, someone like the fellow at my employer (the one I'm on hiatus with) who notoriously sent his time sheets wrapped in bubble wrap to HR...

Can you imagine an agent receiving all mail certified, sealed in pink bubble wrap with a pair of vinyl gloves included (with a note that the gloves are to be used for special handling)?

That's far more interesting to my mind than some sex-addicted narcissist.

bethany
12-31-2009, 01:38 AM
Isn't the deal with Hank Moody that he wrote one masterpiece a long time ago, and now can't write much of anything (except that manuscript that the 16year old daughter of his exwife's fiance stole--you know, after he slept with her). I think Hank is supposed to be a floundering and lost sort of genius who can't produce anything.

If you want to see the worst characterization of a writer (and the publication process) see Jenny on the L-Word (showtime) that was nonsense. And the character is so dramatic and artisty it makes me want to puke.

Hank is pretty hard to like, too. Even if you have a lingering mental love affair with Fox Mulder.

DWSTXS
12-31-2009, 02:39 AM
Hank Moody is pretty hard to like when you see how much underhanded (not to mention, immoral) crap he pulls and everyone around him laughs it off, the women he cheats on, his ex-wife, his daughter, everyone gives him a pass. This is the part I can't find anywhere near believable.

That said. . . I still watch the show.

LOL

Samantha's_Song
12-31-2009, 02:43 AM
Hmm... A female MC of mine is an author of erotic novels, but in the story it's just her job and there's never any keeping her agent waiting etc. What she writes does cause conflict though, but I make other characters take it out of all proportion because she was also married to a corrupt and bigoted politician. there's plenty of ways to give a fictional writer conflict without them having to be divas and act like spoilt brats. My MC's agent slept with my MC's husband, so if she did decide to keep her waiting, so what? :D

What I really meant to ask is: Why are authors always portrayed in movies and TV as always missing deadlines, and agents/publishers are always shown begging the authors for their next chapter/manuscript etc etc.

Is that all there is (in their opinions) to the author/writer/agent/publisher dynamic? Seems dull and unimaginative to me. Surely there can be more interesting storylines dealing with authors. Look at Misery, and The Shining.

Kathleen42
12-31-2009, 02:55 AM
Because it's a cheap way of creating conflict, I guess? When you think about it, a writer doing his/her job the right way is pretty boring to watch. I know my own life would be a snooze-fest to an outside observer.

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m31/devildog133456/icons/shigure-2.jpg

Anyone else thinking Shigure from Fruits Basket? No? Just me, then.