Altering books (was RE: Silly Censorship)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed May 14 17:38:38 EDT 2003


Philip wrote:

>This is another pretty old thread, but I am quite interested in this.

>> When C&C first came out DWJ didn't have much clout with the publishers, and
>> she had a particularly bossy editor who insisted on having a finger in
>> every pie and changing things in every book the imprint published.  (A bit
>> the way Robert Heinlein describes an editor as doing with his children's
>> books).  This editor required DWJ to add a whole lot of stuff that hadn't
>> been there and which DWJ felt was not in the least needed for the book to
>> work.
>That certainly explains the major cuts, although I'm sticking with my first
>edition (I like some of the extra background material!) but it doesn't explain
>one minor thing.
>Why in the later editions have all references to the kingstone been expunged
>from C&C?  It's only three words here, half a setence there...

Same basic thing happening.  Presumably at the time she made the cuts she
felt the kingstone was a complication that wasn't needed, so she took it
out -- after all, there was a lot of change going on, one more bit wouldn't
make that much difference.

>I could understand it if DWJ had omitted the kingstone altogether from CoD, but
>she didn't - although it's not a major part of the story, it is mentioned
>in the
>ending.  Rather puzzling, I imagine, if you've only read the new editions of
>C&C, and never heard of the thing!

Yup!  :-)  It was unobtainable for many long years, and I never did get an
original.

>Can you throw some more light on this?

CoD was written after she'd made the changes, and she found that the
kingstone fitted into CoD so she put it in, is the simplest explanation.
After all, there are other things in CoD that weren't in the earlier books;
only they hadn't been put in and then taken out again in print, like the
kingstone.  So we don't know about it if they were in a first draft and
taken out in a second draft and then turned out to be a good idea after
all, several years later, for a different book.

Thinking about CoD, I can't help remembering that there is a very fine (if
lethal-sounding) school game in it, with a lot of truly splendid invented
words for all things to do with grittling, not to mention everything else
to do with the Lawschool.  I wonder whether any invented school game with
funny names involved in it has got into any other books since 1993?  :-)

Minnow


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