Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not I, Said This Writer

I've just read a magazine review that I wrote of a music gig I saw last week. I really enjoyed it and I had fun writing the review because I love it when I get to open the floodgates of gush. If I think something is good, I want you to know about it and I want you to know why I thought it was good.

Hilarious thing though... the editor clings to some antiquated style nuance about not referring to yourself directly. They think good editing means there is no such thing as "I". Even when you are writing about your personal experience of a performance.

Hang on. Let me demonstrate. I'm going to re-write what I've written above using the style guide this particular editor uses:

"This writer just read a review that this writer wrote of a music gig this writer saw last week. This writer really enjoyed it and this writer had fun writing the review because this writer loves it when he get's to open the floodgates of gush. If this writer thinks something is good, this writer want's you to know why he thought it was good."

Sadly, I'm not joking. All these "this writer thought" and "this writer believes"... Eh? Wot?

I wrote a line about a guy on stage tweaking knobs on his mixer who was being very extravagant with his knob-twiddling, and I said that I was mightily amused and that from now on my reviews would be written with Beethovenesque flourishes.

Ed changed it to, "From now on, reviews will be written with Beethovenesque flourishes."

Wot? Not just this writer's reviews but all reviews everywhere throughout all the lands and kingdoms?

Okay. That's all for now. Clearly I have to go beat myself about the head repeatedly with a 1956 edition of The New York Times to see if some of this shit sinks in.

5 comments:

isabelle said...

Bloody editors.

I once wrote a book review ( in return for the book ) for a local newspaper which the editor then chopped and changed until it was nothing like my original piece.

(The worst bit was that the editor also happened to be my dad, I was livid.)

Y said...

From now on, this commenter will be looking forward to that writer's Beethovanesque flourishes.

And haha, to isabelle's comment above! :)

Lee said...

Isabelle - I was an editor once. I like to think I was an okay one. They can be good. They can avoid putting something of themselves in the writing of others.

That's pretty funny about your dad.

Y - I'm typing this right now with Beethovenesque flourishes. It makes typing fun.

Lee said...

(And probably Beethovanesque flourishes is a nonsensical thing... just meant flamboyant physical movement when you're actually just poking something with your finger).

Y said...

The combination of the 'tache and the arm-flinging flourishes make for a very amusing picture in my head!