Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Korval: Removing this pending conversation:

To be fair, there's a world of difference between a) stereotypical meddling "corporate suits" who have no comprehension for the art of storytelling but think of books or movies merely in terms of profits, target demographics and "family friendly" censoring because they view it as just another product to sell, like shaving cream or Boy Bands; b) actual editors doing their job of weeding out bad grammar and spelling, bad pacing, Purple Prose and similar, who actually work with the author to (hopefully) improve the finished product.

I don't buy this reasoning. The "stereotypical meddling 'corporate suits'" sounds much like a Strawman. If you hire a writer to write a marketable story for a certain demographic, and if you have to operate under certain broadcast standards, then those are the restrictions the writer is placed under. They're just as important to getting the work to print as the "actual editors"; they provide the structure under which the writer operates.

They can be just as much a victim of Protection From Editors as the "actual editors."

Tanto: Much of the content from this entry is taken from this blog post, which I did not write. Credit where it's due.

Seth: Seriously does everyone on this wiki read the same blogs as a great cosmic coincidence? This is the third time this week a blog that i read has been mentioned on the wiki.

Pteryx: I'm not sure that this really gets across the degree to which the fans suffer for this. It centers too much on the editor angst and not enough on what got this started in the first place — the simple fact that the result sucks. It also makes the whole thing sound very book-specific. It even sounds a lot like it's defending the practice. In short, it doesn't really say Star Wars prequels or Matrix sequels.

Tanto: Look, I don't condone this kind of thing...but I understand why it happens (and this is why it happens), and I don't blame editors for not wanting to stick their heads on the chopping block for the fans. For us, this is just a hobby, and if the result ends up sucking we'll find something else to spend our time and money on. For them, it puts food on the table.

In short, I think whining about how much it sucks for us is going to end up being more wangsty than the alternative.

Pteryx: Whining, no. Actually writing about the trope directly instead of adapting an extended example, yes. It doesn't help that the example is not only the entirety of the entry, but is so long that simply adding a plain explanation to the end would be jarring. As it is, the entry is so wrapped up in the editor's story that one is left asking, "how is this a trope?"

Semi-Known-Troper: Surely young and inexperianced editors would not be assined to major properties in the first place?

Tanto: This is what is known as an "example".

Sci Vo: In fact, it's irrelevant to the example. The whole point was that system dynamics give best-selling writers Protection from Editors, regardless of how ballsy and skilled they are.

Fast Eddie: Going through and doing some weeding based on my bias against starting a sentence with a conjunction. If we are going to be critical/observant about writing, our grammar has got to be high and tight. The rest of the time, we can be like us. // Later: Okay, I'm out. It is still coming off more like a polemic pointed at writer-bashers rather than anything related to "protection from editors."

Tanto: If this isn't going to work, cut it. I'm not married to it.

Fast Eddie: Give it a minute. There is a lot of good stuff in there.

Sci Vo: Which we can keep with a link to the original blog post. It's distilled to a finer proof now, but the raw material was focused on the editors' point of view. All distilling does is get that across better. I'm not up for writing something from scratch — at least, not this week, that's for sure — but I think that's what it would take to communicate all of the rest of the trope, the creators' and (especially) the fans' points of view.

Pteryx: Since apparently I'm not alone in thinking the old version was no good as a trope entry, I've just written a new one.
  • Edit: Ooh, nice refinement, Tanto. :)

Pteryx: Since the Creativity Leash YKTTW was really talking more about this, here it is.
Fast Eddie: Pulled some stuff that wasn't quite English. It looked really weird in a piece about editing.

Anonymous: May I just say, that's the best quote I've ever seen on this wiki XD

Caswin: "A shame that the whole concept of customers being cheated being a bad thing has been lost in this day and age." I'm not sure what this is talking about. (If anything, I've seen more of cheating the producers, retailers, etc. becoming more accepted.)

Caswin: Removing as per above. (And maintaining that The Man/the faceless world at large has really been getting the short end of the stick lately.)

Meems: Not that I actually mind, but this trope is Complaining About Shows You Don't Like in a big way.

Tanto: No, it's a verifiable phenomenon with legitimate criticisms, giving evidence and examples. There's a difference, as is says right there on the page you cited.

Shale: It's still subjective, sure, but it takes a lot more than "this show sucks" to qualify an entry.

Krid: Removed some cruft about Scientology. This page has nothing to do with how upstanding or reputable a religious corporation may or may not be, and needlessly extolling or deriding any religion is just asking for all sorts of trouble.

Ununnilium: And thank you.

  • Terry Pratchett is not subject to this it seems, mostly because he has gone on record as saying that his books would not be half as good if he didn't have a decent editor.

...not really an example, then. `.`

  • This troper will probably be railed against for saying this, but Neil Gaiman's American Gods really could've used an editor. Entire scenes that literally don't matter at all, a plot that goes nowhere, and what little plot there is is tied together with the thinnest, most frayed threads possible. And yet the book still won a Hugo and the fans loved it. This troper is entirely confused.

Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.

  • Thankfully he had less luck when it came to his publishers. If the reading public had to plow there way through the, frankly, kind of boring Simarillion after the Hobbit there'd never have been a Lord of the Rings. More to the point if if the Lot R had been bound into a single volume like he wanted it would have doubtless scared off more than a few people by sheer bulk alone.

He never tried to publish the Silmarillion; it was his life's work, and he was constantly fiddling with it and changing things.

  • This editor disagrees, having given up on the series somewhere in the eighth book (which BTW, was checked out from a library). (The editor also knows people who refused to see Star Wars episodes II and III, and have sworn to not see the upcoming Indiana Jones flick.)

Conversation in the Main Page.

  • Umm, what? Wouldn't "his LATTER novels sucked" be a better example (as in, a fitting example at all)? Or is that too flame-baitish?

No, just wrong. `-`v The fact that it was released unedited is a testament to the power of this trope.

Removed Star Wars Reference

There were several errors in the the paragraph. And too much opinion as fact. The Original Star Wars DID suffer from Executive Meddling. Namely they forced Lucas to add some "teen age scenes" to introduce Luke sooner into the picture. The scenes with Biggs and Luke witnessing the opening fight He argued that is ruined the pacing and did get it remove at a later edit. He also had to fight Alec Guinness to kill off Ben Kenobi when Lucas realized that he needed more weight to the film. What made the film "Better" was the tight buget made Lucas think more creatively to get his vision...and when he couldn't get his vision-he filmed around. (Jabba scene in Star Wars was cut out when they ran out of time to do the effects) Alan Ladd actually had to fight his own Fox Studios Executive to let the film finish.

The Prequels-while some people didn't like them, were not. as universally hated as the numbers show. According to Box Office Mojo, All three Prequels were listed as fresh Episode I 64% Episode II 67% andd Episode III 79% The Box Office also reflects that for a series that was 20 years old, it was a solid hit. According to Box Office Mojo Episode I: $431,088,301, Episode II: $310,676,740, and Episode III: $380,176577 in the United States. So by these two bench marks- The films improved critically...and remained about the same financially.

zinfandel: That's not what this trope is about and that's not how this wiki functions. I've replaced the Star Wars example with something more clear. Menace us with your phantoms no more.

  • This troper once heard it said that Robert Jordan is paid by the word, thus handily explaining why the series is nine books longer than it needs to be and only one interminable paragraph in three is plot exposition.

I very much doubt that. If he wrote for magazines or somesuch, maybe, but the novel publishing world, as far as I know, doesn't work that way. And the rest is just Complaining About Books You Don't Like.

SixTwentyThree: Why is there a Webcomics section? They almost never have editors in the first place.

Ununnilium: Read the entry; there's a similar effect once they gain a similar level of popularity.

The fact that protected-from-editors authors tend to write Door Stoppers should possibly be worked into the main description somehow. —Document N

When the first book Eragon came out and was inexplicably a hit, many readers were left wondering if it was possible for Christopher Paolini's writing to get any worse. Then when the second book Eldest came out, having been written under Protection from Editors, we found out the answer was "Yes, much worse". Said readers are currently dreading the release of the third book, Brisingr (that the upcoming book has an unpronounceable title indicates that Protection from Editors is apparently still in place).

Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.
Mullon: Is this what happened when Joss Whedon started writing Runaways? It sounds like it would fit.

Kalaong: I have to respectfully say that even if the creator of a given work of fiction goes overboard, you still end up with a story, albeit one you have to wade through. When the executives start meddling, you get no story. With chunks of crap in it.
Bedinsis: Given this tropes description, doesn't any webcomic that isn't commercial fit here? Or for that matter, any piece of fan fiction? I'd therefore argue that the webcomics examples is just "works without an editor, but which would be better off with one", and ought to be cut.
Madrugada: Cut the following bad examples:
  • Robert A. Heinlein is considered a classic example of a writer getting beyond editorial control. How important editors were to his career is indicated by the release (unedited) of For Us The Living, an early unpublished novel which quite clearly shows why it was unpublished.
    • For Us The Living was published 15 years after Heinlein's death. It wasn't edited, but not because he didn't want it edited. It was a choice by the publishing company to print it virtually unchanged from the 1938 typescript.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton does supposedly have an editor, but she sells so well that even her spelling mistakes get left in.
    • Her editor claims she has dyslexia but she doesn't need 'any spellchecker'. Ye gods, protect us from the editors!
      • If this is only about spelling mistakes, it's not an editor she needs, it's a proofreader. There's a big difference. And most proofreading is now done with — yep— spellcheckers.
  • While everything that he has touched is considered brilliant (and rightfully so), J.R.R. Tolkien had his editors scared to suggest any changes. The fact that he was a linguistics professor at Oxford had a lot to do with it. Of course, he had less luck with publishers; for instance, he intended Lord of the Rings to be a single volume.
    • Considering how he spent his life constantly correcting and re-writing his previous works, and how he estimated most of it unpublishable, one can think that he was his own editor.
      • The reply really says it all. He didn't write Lo TR looking to sell it, he wrote it for his own pleasure.
  • The Inheritance Trilogy (or "Cycle", now). The series started in this state, as the first book was self-published. That changed when he got picked up by another publishing company after the first book.
    • Someone who uses Vanity Publishing by definition doesn't have an editor.
  • According to an introduction in a Nero Wolfe mystery (not written by the author), Rex Stout wrote the detective stories in one draft and they were published unedited. Apparently he could get away with it.
    • He had an editor. The poor guy simply didn't have much to do.
    • All the Natter from JK Rowling
    • Anything that was self-published. Protection from Editors is being powerful enough to ignore your editor, not too bad to even have one.

Vilui: Cut the paragraph on the Abhorsen trilogy. That, too, seemed to be just one fan Complaining About Shows You Don't Like (and was written unnecessarily forcefully).
Doyle: The most prevalent trope in RTD's Doctor Who is Everyone Is Bi? A show that's had a grand total of one bisexual or gay regular character in four years?

Qube: I've added a small note down at the bottom of the introduction to provide a slightly more detailed explanation for the the tropes name, bearing in mind that not everyone plays Magic: The Gathering. I think it looks a little awkward, so anyone who thinks they can improve upon it should do so.