barometry: ([austen] elizabeth)
There has been a recent flurry of articles discussing evidence that Jane Austen's style was actually due to an editor, and people, I am confused by the discussion.

There's been some interesting discussion of this topic on Language Log, but I still feel it misses the point, which is this: surely many writers get enormous feedback from their editors not only on their spelling and punctuation, but on their general style, plot architecture, characterization, and many other things.

Is this a false impression I have based on fandom, where friends and beta-readers are known for hugely influencing the shape of finished works? I feel like every pro writer I've ever heard talk about their process also talks about having to rework enormous parts of what they've written based on feedback from others.

So what's the big deal? Is the claim that Jane Austen's (male) contemporaries didn't get this kind of feedback at the manuscript stage, and so she's not "really" a classic author? Is the claim that she didn't actually see/approve the relevant changes, so this wasn't input into her writing so much as an ex-post-facto change to her books?

As I said: so confused.

In other news, I'm totally on track with my writing goals!

14790 / 15000 (98.60%)

On track!

Nov. 21st, 2010 03:28 pm
barometry: solid wall of paperbacks stacked up ([misc] books)
10368 / 15000 (69.12%)


*does dance of being on track*

In other news, a week of sleeping very badly has me once again attempting to drastically reduce my caffeine intake. So far so good, I'm drinking tea instead of coffee and vaguely planning to switch to decaf in a few more days.

The trouble is that experience tells me that as soon as free coffee is available, I will crumble like a crumbly thing. And free coffee is widely available when I travel, on airplanes and in hotels and at conferences. And what should I be doing in ten days but leaving on a trip? So yes, slightly doomed to failure, though I might be able to hold the line at tea (instead of coffee), since the place I am travelling to is Northern Ireland.

(By the way, does anyone know how to refer if referring to it as Ireland is likely to get me punched in the face? My current plan is to not call it anything until I clear this up.)

But yes, my plan for sleep is to avoid caffeine. We'll see if this helps.
barometry: ([austen] on horseback)
8261 / 15000 (55.07%)


There really is something to this writing-as-a-habit thing. )

Anyhow.

I also made the mistake of beginning to read a novel yesterday, before I did any work in the evening. As I have said before, I am almost completely unable to stop reading a(n engaging) book once I've started it (if only this were true of literature, or academic papers.) So three-and-a-half hours later, I finally got up off the couch, but by then it was too late to do anything but sleep. This is why I am on a no-fiction diet, people (I am also avoiding fic like the plague).

I think I'll wrap up with a couple of things that are awesome:

1. When I was in my early teens, I had a tape of a radio play the BBC made for Murder on the Orient Express. I listened to this tape while falling asleep for years, until finally both cassettes were lost and/or eaten by broken tape players. For me this is the definitive edition of this story.

I've tried and failed to find it on the internet before, but I decided to try again this weekend and it was available on iTunes! (And also as a torrent, which I confess is how I actually acquired it.) I am so happy to be reunited with this radio play, you have no idea. I also have several other plays in which John Moffat plays Hercule Poirot!

I would heartily recommend these dramatizations, but I have no idea if they're objectively any good or if I'm blinded by a fog of sentimentality. I leave it to you.

2. I have new shoes! Mine are off eBay in a discontinued colour (cognac?), so they didn't actually cost $110, but they are wonderful. My feet have been getting increasingly cranky about any heel in a shoe, and insufficient width, and these are absolutely flat and very wide. They are also "minimalist" shoes, which feel slightly more like walking barefoot than a normal shoe, and I really really like that about them. I want all the colours, and it is only their exorbitant price tag that is preventing me.

If they had a winter boot that wasn't absolutely hideous, I would totally drop $250 on a pair.

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Barometry Jones

October 2014

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