Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Writing Quote of the Day

“Just because readers love a book does not mean it couldn’t have been ten times better.”

Vince Mooney


  1. Why limit this quote to just indie books? Pride and Prejudice could have been ten times better with more dialog. Vanity Fair could have been ten times better with a lot of backstory cutting.....I'm glad these authors didn't let the fear of "surely I could improve this some way if I sit on it and thought about it for another decade" then we wouldn't have gotten other stories out of them or they may never have published anything. This seems a rather disheartening quote for absolutely everybody.

  2. Hi Melissa:

    The context for this quote in regard to indie publishing is this: consider the case where a traditional editor likes the story but gives the author a list of requested revisions that is nine pages long. The author says, no way, I’m out of here. Then she publishes it as an Indie book and because some readers like it, she thinks all is well. Now, if you believe that professional editors do not add value to a book, then readers have not lost anything because the indie author took a hike on the revisions. However, if you believe that such editors do indeed improve the quality of books, then readers have suffered a loss even if many of them are otherwise happy with the book.
    I’m not saying to keep improving a book forever or until it is perfect. I’m just saying that when you are shown a way to substantially improve a book and thus the reading experience, if you don’t do that, then the book could have been better.
    However, I can see how indie publishers may not like this quote and I do appreciate your comments. You have helped me see a side that I did not consider when I wrote the quote. Thanks,


  3. Well, I have to disagree on this... it's kind of like Independence Day, Vince. I love that movie. I get that it's cheesy and it's unrealistic and the plot depends on crazy circumstance and humor, but it works for me! So when the critics boshed it, I laughed at them because those critics didn't speak for me. I think with author discretion we can have it both ways now... and that's got to be a win in the readers' column!

  4. Hi Ruth:

    I don’t think we are talking about the same thing. I’m not talking about critics. Independence Day could have had many revisions requested by excellent screenplay editors. Those editors may well have had you as well as those other fans who loved the movie in mind when the final version of the script was made. That’s not the question.

    To make this like my question the screenwriter would have had to go to the editor (whoever that is in movies) and be told he would make the movie if the screen writer would make 9 pages of revisions in the script. The writer would then have to say, “No, I won’t do it. I’ll produce the movie myself.”

    Somehow I don’t think that happened. I think that the changes the editor wanted in the script were made and the result was a movie you loved.

    I just don’t see where we are talking about the same thing and in that respect I don’t think we even disagree. However, I sure enjoy having you stop by.

    BTW: I am going to go Indie myself. I will use an experienced NY editor to edit it. I also expect to make the changes the editor requests. I'm all for indie publishing but I don't want to just overlook its limitations.


  5. Hi Melissa:
    I thought about it overnight and I think you are right about using the word 'Indie". It is better with just the title: "Writing Quote of the Day".
    Again, thanks for your input.