History ExecutiveMeddling / Literature

17th Sep '17 2:40:26 AM SurPomp
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* ''Literature/{{Mare}}'' was written due to the Norwegian tax system giving [[Creator/RubenEliassen Eliassen]] 2 million Norwegian kroner in taxes. Due to executive meddling the first book was split into 3 (as the best book series are trilogies aparently), as well as a more rushed story ending with an CliffHanger, unresolved sub plots, and a balant self-insert AuthorAvatar who works as a DeusExMachina as well as reminding the reader what happened in the previous book. The story is pretty much an allogory for the poor treatment Norwegian authors receives.

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* ''Literature/{{Mare}}'' was written due to the Norwegian tax system giving [[Creator/RubenEliassen Eliassen]] 2 million Norwegian kroner in taxes. Due to executive meddling the first book was split into 3 (as the best book series are trilogies aparently), as well as a more rushed story ending with an CliffHanger, unresolved sub plots, and a balant self-insert AuthorAvatar who works as a DeusExMachina as well as reminding the reader what happened in the previous book. The story is pretty much an allogory allegory for the poor treatment Norwegian authors receives.
17th Sep '17 2:31:57 AM SurPomp
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Literature/{{Mare}}'' was written due to the Norwegian tax system giving [[Creator/RubenEliassen Eliassen]] 2 million Norwegian kroner in taxes. Due to executive meddling the first book was split into 3 (as the best book series are trilogies aparently), as well as a more rushed story ending with an CliffHanger, unresolved sub plots, and a balant self-insert AuthorAvatar who works as a DeusExMachina as well as reminding the reader what happened in the previous book. The story is pretty much an allogory for the poor treatment Norwegian authors receives.
21st Aug '17 11:24:33 AM SeptimusHeap
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* Writers in the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' have editors going over work and vetoing what they don't think fits into canon. Some of them... aren't all that bright. Creator/TimothyZahn, in a panel summarized [[http://gabri-jade.livejournal.com/105471.html here]], complains about editors claiming that R-2 can't fly Luke's X-Wing in [[HandOfThrawn Specter of the Past]].

to:

* Writers in the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' have editors going over work and vetoing what they don't think fits into canon. Some of them... aren't all that bright. Creator/TimothyZahn, in a panel summarized [[http://gabri-jade.livejournal.com/105471.html here]], complains about editors claiming that R-2 can't fly Luke's X-Wing in [[HandOfThrawn [[Literature/HandOfThrawn Specter of the Past]].
3rd Jul '17 3:27:20 AM RedScharlach
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* ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio'': The book was was supposed to end with Pinocchio getting killed off for being a "bad little boy". Carlo Collodi's editor forced it so that Pinocchio was saved from death, and 20 more chapters were written.

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* ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio'': The book was was supposed to end with Pinocchio getting killed off for being a "bad little boy". Carlo Collodi's editor forced it so that Pinocchio was saved from death, and 20 more chapters were written.



* Creator/NeilGaiman's "The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories", is about Executive meddling, plus truly epic amounts of AdaptationDecay. A writer is called in to Hollywood to work on a film adaptation of his hit novel, ''Sons of Man'', which is a speculative story about UsefulNotes/CharlesManson being possessed by a demon, and the children he sired of the women in the Manson Family coming under the power of that demon, with a sole daughter he had trying to stop them. By the time the ever-changing Hollywood executives are done with it, it's a slasher plot called ''When we were Badd'' about a serial killer named Jack Badd who possessed a video game after execution and possessed the kids who played it, with the now-male protagonist saving the day by burning the electric chair the killer was executed in.

to:

* Creator/NeilGaiman's "The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories", is about Executive executive meddling, plus truly epic amounts of AdaptationDecay. A writer is called in to Hollywood to work on a film adaptation of his hit novel, ''Sons of Man'', which is a speculative story about UsefulNotes/CharlesManson being possessed by a demon, and the children he sired of the women in the Manson Family coming under the power of that demon, with a sole daughter he had trying to stop them. By the time the ever-changing Hollywood executives are done with it, it's a slasher plot called ''When we were Badd'' about a serial killer named Jack Badd who possessed a video game after execution and possessed the kids who played it, with the now-male protagonist saving the day by burning the electric chair the killer was executed in.



** Gaiman has a long history of Hollywood stresses: in addition to the aforementioned Jon Peters run at ''Sandman'' (resulting in what Neil described as "the worst script I've ever read"), he was approached on an adaptation of ''Literature/AnansiBoys''. Y'know, the book where the main characters are the children of African deity Anansi, and thus they (and a lot of their acquaintances) are black. The first question asked was apparently, "[[RaceLift Is there any way we can make them white?]]"

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** Gaiman has a long history of Hollywood stresses: in addition to the aforementioned Jon Peters run at ''Sandman'' (resulting in what Neil described as "the worst script I've ever read"), he was approached on with regard to an adaptation of ''Literature/AnansiBoys''. Y'know, the book where the main characters are the children of African deity Anansi, and thus they (and a lot of their acquaintances) are black. The first question asked was apparently, apparently: "[[RaceLift Is there any way we can make them white?]]"



* In something of a case of TropesAreNotBad, The Andalites of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' were originally RubberForeheadAliens, to make it easier on the inevitable TV series. However, Scholastic asked for a more imaginative one, resulting in [[http://www.daytec.net.au/kamm/OldSite/_borders/TheAndaliteChronicles.jpg this design.]] It also led to just about every alien looking bizarre. Unfortunately, Applegate was proven right, when the [[Series/{{Animorphs}} TV series]] only featured Andalites [[CoconutSuperpowers a few times a season with laughably bad animatronics.]]

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* In something of a case of TropesAreNotBad, The the Andalites of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' were originally RubberForeheadAliens, to make it easier on the inevitable TV series. However, Scholastic asked for a more imaginative one, approach, resulting in [[http://www.daytec.net.au/kamm/OldSite/_borders/TheAndaliteChronicles.jpg this design.]] It also led to just about every alien looking bizarre. Unfortunately, Applegate was proven right, when the [[Series/{{Animorphs}} TV series]] only featured Andalites [[CoconutSuperpowers a few times a season with laughably bad animatronics.]]



** In an another example, Verne initially planned for Captain Nemo of ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' to be a Polish aristocrat who was fighting Russians after his family was killed by Russian soldiers during the ill-fated January Uprising. Hetzel feared that this might cause diplomatic problems because Russia was allied with France at the time, not to mention the potential loss of profits, as Verne was '''HUGE''' in Russia at the time.[[note]]In fact, he is ''still'' huge there.[[/note]] With the Franco-Prussian War looming on the horizon, Verne was persuaded to make Nemo a mysterious stranger fighting the British and later, in ''Literature/TheMysteriousIsland'', he revealed him to be an Indian prince while retaining motivation (family lost during the brutal quelling of Indian Uprising). Of course, future readers have had no problem with this change, and as Britain and France were natural enemies at the time, Verne was not afraid of offending British readers.
* The German publisher "Aufbau Verlag" loves meddling with their translations of classics. Most glaring example is Creator/VictorHugo's ''Literature/LesMiserables'' - from somewhat about 1400 pages (in original length of the German translation) they left about 900. They cut out Valjean's theft on Petit Gervais, several of his MyGodWhatHaveIDone moments, a good chunk of Marius's backstory, the characterization of several important minor characters... and also quite a few of Hugo's [[AuthorTract Author Tracts]].

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** In an another example, Verne initially planned for Captain Nemo of ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' to be a Polish aristocrat who was fighting Russians after his family was killed by Russian soldiers during the ill-fated January Uprising. Hetzel feared that this might cause diplomatic problems because Russia was allied with France at the time, not to mention the potential loss of profits, as Verne was '''HUGE''' in Russia at the time.[[note]]In fact, he is ''still'' huge there.[[/note]] With the Franco-Prussian War looming on the horizon, Verne was persuaded to make Nemo a mysterious stranger fighting the British and later, in ''Literature/TheMysteriousIsland'', he revealed him to be an Indian prince while retaining the same motivation (family lost during the brutal quelling of Indian Uprising). Of course, future readers have had no problem with this change, and as Britain and France were natural enemies at the time, Verne was not afraid of offending British readers.
* The German publisher "Aufbau Verlag" Aufbau Verlag loves meddling with their translations of classics. Most glaring example is Creator/VictorHugo's ''Literature/LesMiserables'' - from somewhat about 1400 pages (in original length of the German translation) they left about 900. They cut out Valjean's theft on Petit Gervais, several of his MyGodWhatHaveIDone moments, a good chunk of Marius's backstory, the characterization of several important minor characters... and also quite a few of Hugo's [[AuthorTract Author Tracts]].



* Weirdly there was a reverse when Anthony Burgess's ''Literature/AClockworkOrange'' was released in America. The publisher's removed the final chapter when [[spoiler:Alex redeems himself and decides to "grow up"]] and changed it with a much darker ending. They believed it would be a more realistic ending and that US audiences would prefer that. So in this case it was a happy ending being changed into an unhappy ending. This has led to endless debates over which version of the book is better (the one with chapter 21 or the one without it).
* ''Literature/EndersGame'' provides an in-universe example: in order to train Ender into an excellent commander, his teachers slant the odds against him in every single way possible. They start by making him commander of Dragon Army, which had been discontinued due to how awfully it did in the games, and give him an army of total newbies who have never fought before in their lives. To add on to this, they give him a mere three weeks to train his army instead of the usual three months, and once training is over, they make him fight a battle every day instead of one every two weeks, and when that doesn't break him, they give him ''two'' battles every day. Ender, being [[TheAce who he is]], manages to overcome every obstacle and even top the leader boards with standings ''never thought possible''. This hits its peak when they put a giant barricade in front of his entrance into the battle area (preventing him from seeing the rest of the arena) and pitting him against ''two'' armies at once. After he manages to beat ''that'', they transfer every single toon leader (leaders of mini armies inside the main army) to another army. [[spoiler: This doesn't matter, as Ender was transferred to command school directly afterwards.]]

to:

* Weirdly there was a reverse when Anthony Burgess's ''Literature/AClockworkOrange'' was released in America. The publisher's publishers removed the final chapter when [[spoiler:Alex redeems himself and decides to "grow up"]] and changed it with to a much darker ending. They believed it would be a more realistic ending and that US audiences would prefer that. So in this case it was a happy ending being changed into an unhappy ending. This has led to endless debates over which version of the book is better (the one with chapter 21 or the one without it).
* ''Literature/EndersGame'' provides an in-universe example: in order to train Ender into to be an excellent commander, his teachers slant the odds against him in every single way possible. They start by making him commander of Dragon Army, which had been discontinued due to how awfully it did in the games, and give him an army of total newbies who have never fought before in their lives. To add on to this, they give him a mere three weeks to train his army instead of the usual three months, and once training is over, they make him fight a battle every day instead of one every two weeks, and when that doesn't break him, they give him ''two'' battles every day. Ender, being [[TheAce who he is]], manages to overcome every obstacle and even top the leader boards with standings ''never thought possible''. This hits its peak when they put a giant barricade in front of his entrance into the battle area (preventing him from seeing the rest of the arena) and pitting him against ''two'' armies at once. After he manages to beat ''that'', they transfer every single toon leader (leaders of mini armies inside the main army) to another army. [[spoiler: This doesn't matter, as Ender was transferred to command school directly afterwards.]]



** The reason they wanted Ellroy to cut down his page length was because they felt he, with eight books and high praise for "The Black Dahlia," wasn't a big enough name to justify a 900 page book.

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** The reason they wanted Ellroy to cut down his page length was because they felt he, with eight books and high praise for "The Black Dahlia," wasn't a big enough name to justify a 900 page 900-page book.



** He also pointed out to Robert A. Heinlein that his stories formed a "Future History," although Heinlein didn't care for the term as a label for his work. It probably helped as well that Campbell was an established sci-fi author himself, having wrote ''Literature/WhoGoesThere'' (the basis for ''Film/TheThing1982'') and therefore knew what he was doing, making this something like an Averted trope.

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** He also pointed out to Robert A. Heinlein that his stories formed a "Future History," although Heinlein didn't care for the term as a label for his work. It probably helped as well that Campbell was an established sci-fi author himself, having wrote written ''Literature/WhoGoesThere'' (the basis for ''Film/TheThing1982'') ''Film/TheThing1982''), and therefore knew what he was doing, making this something like an Averted trope.



** A case of executive meddling that failed involved Del Rey becoming upset that the Second Chronicles were revolving less and less around Covenant's own POV and more around new protagonist Linden Avery's. When confronted about it, Del Rey's reasoning was that [[InsaneTrollLogic you couldn't do good worldbuilding with a female narrator... for some reason]]. Considering that Linden's arc was at least as important (if not moreso) than Covenant's in the Second Chronicles, Donaldson fought for this one, and ended up getting moved to another editor who let him keep Linden as the primary POV character.

to:

** A case of executive meddling that failed involved Del Rey becoming upset that the Second Chronicles were revolving less and less around Covenant's own POV and more around new protagonist Linden Avery's. When confronted about it, Del Rey's reasoning was that [[InsaneTrollLogic you couldn't do good worldbuilding with a female narrator... for some reason]]. Considering that Linden's arc was at least as important (if not moreso) more so) than Covenant's in the Second Chronicles, Donaldson fought for this one, and ended up getting moved to another editor who let him keep Linden as the primary POV character.
25th May '17 10:38:30 AM CosmicFerret
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-->"So," Zahn said, with absolutely the driest expression and tone of voice you ever saw, "I pointed out that way back in ''Literature/HeirToTheEmpire'', Artoo flew the X-wing to Coruscant on his own. 'But Artoo can't fly the X-wing.' Okay, in [[TheEmpireStrikesBack ESB]], ''one of your own movies'', Luke's X-wing was inside the Hoth base, but Luke meets it outside. 'But Artoo can't fly the X-wing.' Then later in the movie, Luke tells Artoo, "No thanks, I'll keep it on manual for a while." Manual indicates that there must be an automatic. 'But Artoo can't fly the X-wing.'"\\

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-->"So," Zahn said, with absolutely the driest expression and tone of voice you ever saw, "I pointed out that way back in ''Literature/HeirToTheEmpire'', Artoo flew the X-wing to Coruscant on his own. 'But Artoo can't fly the X-wing.' Okay, in [[TheEmpireStrikesBack [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack ESB]], ''one of your own movies'', Luke's X-wing was inside the Hoth base, but Luke meets it outside. 'But Artoo can't fly the X-wing.' Then later in the movie, Luke tells Artoo, "No thanks, I'll keep it on manual for a while." Manual indicates that there must be an automatic. 'But Artoo can't fly the X-wing.'"\\
29th Apr '17 11:25:49 AM nombretomado
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* Writers in the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' have editors going over work and vetoing what they don't think fits into canon. Some of them... aren't all that bright. TimothyZahn, in a panel summarized [[http://gabri-jade.livejournal.com/105471.html here]], complains about editors claiming that R-2 can't fly Luke's X-Wing in [[HandOfThrawn Specter of the Past]].

to:

* Writers in the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' have editors going over work and vetoing what they don't think fits into canon. Some of them... aren't all that bright. TimothyZahn, Creator/TimothyZahn, in a panel summarized [[http://gabri-jade.livejournal.com/105471.html here]], complains about editors claiming that R-2 can't fly Luke's X-Wing in [[HandOfThrawn Specter of the Past]].
20th Feb '17 1:08:24 AM jormis29
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** ''Spellfire'' became infamous for editor-carnage, leaving many plot threads ripped apart and dangling and characters looking like idiots or jerkasses.

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** ''Spellfire'' ''TabletopGame/{{Spellfire}}'' became infamous for editor-carnage, leaving many plot threads ripped apart and dangling and characters looking like idiots or jerkasses.



** In an odd case, [=TSR=] told R.A. Salvatore to bring back Wulfgar or they would do have someone else do it for them. What makes it odd is that Drizzt was clearly the [[EnsembleDarkHorse breakout hit character]], with Wulfgar as a mostly unneeded sidekick. Salvatore did the best he could, though, and in the end got some good stories out of it and wrote the character out again (this time much as he had written out the barbarian tribes the character belonged to shortly after the character's "death").

to:

** In an odd case, [=TSR=] Creator/{{TSR}} told R.A. Salvatore to bring back Wulfgar or they would do have someone else do it for them. What makes it odd is that Drizzt was clearly the [[EnsembleDarkHorse breakout hit character]], with Wulfgar as a mostly unneeded sidekick. Salvatore did the best he could, though, and in the end got some good stories out of it and wrote the character out again (this time much as he had written out the barbarian tribes the character belonged to shortly after the character's "death").
13th Dec '16 2:09:26 PM Xtifr
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* Executive meddling helped authors Creator/LarryNiven and Jerry Pournelle for the better. The two had presented their publisher with an alien invasion novel in which the invaders strike Earth with an asteroid in order to soften up humanity. The publisher insisted that the asteroid impact would make a great story all on its own and that while alien invasions were a dime-a-dozen, he'd pay big bucks for the asteroid story. So they went back home, removed the alien invasion, and came back later with the novel ''Literature/LucifersHammer''. They eventually published the alien invasion story as ''Literature/{{Footfall}}''.

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* Executive meddling helped authors Creator/LarryNiven and Jerry Pournelle Creator/JerryPournelle for the better. The two had presented their publisher with an alien invasion novel in which the invaders strike Earth with an asteroid in order to soften up humanity. The publisher insisted that the asteroid impact would make a great story all on its own and that while alien invasions were a dime-a-dozen, he'd pay big bucks for the asteroid story. So they went back home, removed the alien invasion, and came back later with the novel ''Literature/LucifersHammer''. They eventually published the alien invasion story as ''Literature/{{Footfall}}''.
27th Nov '16 6:24:02 PM nombretomado
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* James Gurney's third ''{{Dinotopia}}'' book, 'First Flight', is different from the others because the publishers wanted it targeted toward younger children than the other books. It didn't go over well with the fans and had some plot problems.

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* James Gurney's third ''{{Dinotopia}}'' ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'' book, 'First Flight', is different from the others because the publishers wanted it targeted toward younger children than the other books. It didn't go over well with the fans and had some plot problems.
25th Oct '16 4:01:38 PM nombretomado
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** One that did work out was that Lucasfilm shot down Timothy Zahn's original name for the Noghri which was Sith, to explain why Darth Vader was known as the Lord of the Sith. The reason, of course, was that Zahn didn't realize that GeorgeLucas already had something very different in mind for the meaning of that title.
** In the ''Literature/NewJediOrder'' novel series, Anakin Solo was killed halfway through at the insistence of GeorgeLucas. Lucas had decided that since there were prequel-era novels starring Anakin Skywalker being published at the same time, and Anakin Solo was set to be the main hero of the second half of the ''[=NJO=]'' story, readers would be confused by both eras having a main character with the same first name.

to:

** One that did work out was that Lucasfilm shot down Timothy Zahn's original name for the Noghri which was Sith, to explain why Darth Vader was known as the Lord of the Sith. The reason, of course, was that Zahn didn't realize that GeorgeLucas Creator/GeorgeLucas already had something very different in mind for the meaning of that title.
** In the ''Literature/NewJediOrder'' novel series, Anakin Solo was killed halfway through at the insistence of GeorgeLucas.Creator/GeorgeLucas. Lucas had decided that since there were prequel-era novels starring Anakin Skywalker being published at the same time, and Anakin Solo was set to be the main hero of the second half of the ''[=NJO=]'' story, readers would be confused by both eras having a main character with the same first name.
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