“Publishing” — John Steinbeck

Oh, Steinbeck.

Biblioklept

“Publishing”

by

John Steinbeck

from his 1969 “interview” in The Paris Review

EDITOR

The book is out of balance. The reader expects one thing and you give him something else. You have written two books and stuck them together. The reader will not understand.

WRITER

No, sir. It goes together. I have written about one family and used stories about another family as—well, as counterpoint, as rest, as contrast in pace and color.

EDITOR

The reader won’t understand. What you call counterpoint only slows the book.

WRITER

It has to be slowed—else how would you know when it goes fast?

EDITOR

You have stopped the book and gone into discussions of God knows what.

WRITER

Yes, I have. I don’t know why. Just wanted to. Perhaps I was wrong.

SALES DEPARTMENT

The book’s too long. Costs are up. We’ll have to charge five dollars for it. People won’t pay five dollars…

View original post 319 more words

Tweets of the Week:

In no particular pecking order:

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” – T.S. Eliot

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” – T.S. Eliot. 

At the very least we've stolen.
At the very least we’ve stolen from a long lineage.

On how writers don’t psychologize their characters for the reader anymore:

“By the time we get to James Joyce, the author is on his own, floundering around in the thoughts of various unsavory characters. He finds himself in the middle of a world apparently without comment.” -Flannery O’Connor, on how authors no longer do the work for you. From “The Nature and Aim of Fiction.”

4 Types of Prologues

We knew that people hated prologues and sometimes never read them. We therefore inserted ours in the middle of our novel so it would be harder to ignore. And, at that point, we think readers are ready for a little context. They’re like, WTF is going on?!?

Ingrid's Notes

Satellite View Of StarsThere’s an ongoing debate about prologues. Do you need them? Are they superfluous? Do they set up the story, or should you cut ’em and get to chapter one already?

Plenty of opinions exist, and many opinions have to do with taste. So, before we jump on the “prologues never contribute to the story” bandwagon, I think the first step is to identify what kind of prologue one is writing and the objective of that prologue. We need to know what we’re writing and why, before we let  the opinions of what’s “in vogue” influence our writing decisions.

Let’s take a look at four different kinds of prologues.

1) Future Protagonist

This prologue is written in the same voice and style as the main story and from the POV of the same protagonist. When done really well, this kind of prologue changes everything the reader thought. As the reader continues with the story…

View original post 408 more words