editorial abridgements

Margaret Ball margaret at onr.com
Fri Apr 25 12:22:53 EDT 2003

> (And I once wasted a lot of time getting hold
>of a hardback copy of a book they had marked as "abridged", only to find
>that they had been *absolutely right* to cut out as much as they had,
>because the original was greatly improved by having all the verbiage
>trimmed away!)
Three times in my life I've had the chance to read two versions of a 
book: the first published version which had been subjected to editorial 
cuts and revisions, and a later version published after the author got 
rich and famous and was able to insist on bringing his/her book out 
again Exactly The Way They Wrote It.

Two of the books were M.M. Kaye's _Shadow of the Moon_ and Heinlein's 
_Stranger in a Strange Land_, and I forget what the third was....but in 
all three cases I felt that the original editors had been right.

Something to keep in mind next time some dimwitted editor asks *me* for 
revisions, assuming that ever happens again (the "new" ms has been 
sitting around Baen since November; I'm not sure I can remember what the 
book was about any more).

Margaret Ball

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