Author Topic: Unnecessary editing  (Read 2294 times)

Offline KarinaB

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Unnecessary editing
« on: March 20, 2006, 07:06:10 AM »
Is there a tactful way to suggest to a magazine that some of their editing might not be necessary and at times may actually be damaging?
I submitted what I thought was my best ever feature to a magazine in January. I have written regularly for this title for more than two years. When the feature was submitted the editor read it through. His feedback said 'excellent, reads well'.
The published feature was disappointing, however, not least because the opening paragraph had been changed. Throughout the feature words have been omitted, sentences changed around and facts missed out or added. One sentence was not mine at all and did not fit contextually. One of the case studies featured a sentence that didn't make sense at all because it had been changed but one wrong word left in (my copy said 'there are, which they obviously intended to change to 'I have' but it ended up as 'I have are'). I feel that they 'chop around' features just to make them look good on the page and edit for the sake of it.
I also supplied a digital image of a document for this feature and specifically asked them to acknowledge the source, which they failed to do.
My problem is that the editor regularly offers me work and the magazine pays very well, so I don't want to upset them.
I would welcome some advice and also objective opinions on whether I am overreacting or mistaken about the editing, but I don't think that it is just my ego! I can't give the name of the magazine on forum for obvious reasons.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 07:09:32 AM by KarinaB »

Offline goldanon

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Re: Unnecessary editing
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 08:06:46 AM »
wow - i wish I had an answer for you - surely someone in here can help with this.  It sounds like a BIG problem and not nitty picky on your part whatsoever.  In fact it sounds to me as if they don't have an editor AT ALL! just a lay-out assistant doing an internship that he should be getting a D- on...

Offline chillies

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Re: Unnecessary editing
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2006, 06:59:07 AM »
Hi, KarinaB, First, let me say that I am no expert on this matter, but what you've decribed seems a little over the top as far as their editing proceedures are concerned. Saying that, if this is a regular place for you to show your material, and the pay is good (as you say it is), it seems to me there is little you can do. You don't really want to lose this source of income/outlet for your material, so the last thing to do, in my humble opinion, is to have it out with them.

If I was in the same boat, I think that in future, I would only send them work which I was not too bothered about. If they "messed around" with it, it would not effect me too much.

Of cource, this is easier said than done when you have put in hours of work to get a piece of writing perfected; they are all your little darlings after all.

However, there may be a time in the not too distant future, when your work will be in great demand. Then you will be able to call the shots. Until then try to relax in the knowledge that every piece of work you send in, no matter how butchered it may end up, is another step to becoming a well known and respected writer.


Offline Symphony

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Re: Unnecessary editing
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2006, 09:02:52 AM »
Hello there,

I'm no expert either - but from what I can gather, once a magazine has accepted an article/letter/whatever, it's usually in the small print that they can edited according to their own needs ...

Soul-destroying, I know. I submitted a cutesy pathetic little letter recently - one of those silly stories about my children - but it was well written. When they printed it, they'd changed some of the punctuation and the entire last sentence - which in effect took away the point of the whole story! Ridiculous - but nothing I could do about it.