[LMB] Heinlein

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Mon Oct 11 22:02:02 BST 2021


On Sat, Oct 9, 2021 at 7:52 AM Peter Hews via Lois-Bujold <
lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> I reference him when the topic of second draft editing comes up.
> According to his letters, his normal practice at first was to write
> everything that came into his head and then throw out about half of it.
> But he only did this because the market demanded strict word counts in
> those days, and he hated it.  Once he was a big enough name that editors
> couldn't dictate to him, he seems to have just published his first drafts,
> with regretable results.
>

I've mentioned before Spider Robinson's essay on editors, found in "User
Friendly", so I won't bring it up in any detail.  I would note that Ayn
Rand actually had similar issues, as she absolutely hated the ways
producers and editors would insist on altering everything she submitted, so
when she went independent she refused to use the services of an editor.
Much to her works' detriment.

Stephen King is another good example.  The man is one of the best short
horror writers in American history, because short stories require immense
discipline and control of the author due to the restrictions imposed by the
limited length of the form.  His novels wander, not least because he
"writes from the gut" and has no detailed plan or design.

Matt G.


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