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American authors walk on eggshells in 2017 America Options
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 9:58:54 AM
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When an author submits a book for publication, an editor checks it for overall quality (cohesion, grammar, plagiarism, etc.).

Now a new profession has been created in the United States: the sensitivity reader.

The duties of a sensitivity reader is to check for anything that shows bias against any group and to delete those words.

Many people are applying for the new position: they will have the intoxicating power to delete anything they think might hurt the feelings of any group.

Publishers are terrified of publishing anything that offends any group, so they are rushing to hire sensitivity readers.

Some people feel that "sensitivity reader" is just a new term for an old word: censor.
will
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:26:39 PM
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And what do you, as a house bound jowly curmudgeon who spends all day sitting in his vest and underpants, spying on the neighbours and swearing at the local kids, think of this? Think


.
BretB
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:55:06 PM
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The 'Fear Industry' in America is trying to assault us again. But this is of no concern to authors (or even publishers). Anyone who writes a good book will get published, whether in America or someplace else where the fear industry isn't as prevalent. And publishers who refuse to publish will go out of business. Especially since it is so easy to self-publish now.

For instance, I have two parts of an exceptional trilogy which was self-published. Granted it was easy for me to find the book since I live in the same town as the author but this isn't his only way to find it. The author advertises on the net. Evidently, he has done well since the first book was a ‘trade paperback’ and the second is hardback. This is a significant improvement in quality for an author who only self-publishes.

And anybody who feels that no one should ever be insulted is a moron anyway. The world doesn’t work like that. I feel free to insult any individual or group I want. For instance, all those who purport to suggest that I, or any publisher I might use, should censor my writing should eat shit and bark at the moon. Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke. Or an insult.

The preceding is an American author stomping your egg-shells into the muck.
Gary98
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:50:22 PM

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will wrote:
And what do you, as a house bound jowly curmudgeon who spends all day sitting in his vest and underpants, spying on the neighbours and swearing at the local kids, think of this? Think


.


Too much sensitivity, too much correctness, and no one will want that shit.
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:58:00 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
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Thank you, Bret and Gary, for your interesting comments.

The radical activists are literally out of their minds because of the recent election.

So censorship immediately comes to the minds of such individuals.

Today, sensitivity readers will take out any words that they find offensive.

Tomorrow, they will require authors to put in certain words that laud certain groups.

All of this would be hysterically humorous if it were not so damaging to the fragile fabric of democracy.

As the saying goes, those radical activists can dish it out but they can't take it.

*****

Good luck to you, Bret, on your writing career.


Have a nice day, the both of you.






Romany
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:07:13 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Hi Gary & Brett,

I went researching this 'new' American tool. It's just fact-checking, really. It's the part of the the narrative one usually researches oneself by meeting with, talking to, getting to understand the group, or clique, or individual about whom one is writing. This, to me, is the sort of authorial task which give authors insight.

From what I gathered, it's mainly YA writers who are concerned with it? Skipping a stage in the process of producing a m/s, is up to the writers themselves, however. There's no rule - or even advice that I could find - urging people to do this.

It makes sense that it's mainly YA writers who take this path: from what's going on in American Universities at the moment with umpteen different pronouns and categories and ways of dividing people from each other; I should imagine young authors who are not yet in touch with the real world must feel overwhelmed.

Personally, I'd kinda stick to the old, old mantra of 'write what you know about'. If you're going to write a book about people/cultures with which you're unfamiliar, then just be prepared to do tons and tons of research! If you couldn't be bothered with the slog, by all means hire someone to take short-cuts for you. If you just want to make money or get 'famous' then hey, do what you gotta do.

But the difference between a good book and a rubbish book is vast, and the competition fierce. I think established writers are all too aware of this, and cutting corners WILL, eventually, work to cut one out of the race. If you don't trust yourself to be able to express yourself without unintentionally upsetting swathes of people, then I rather think I'd advise a YA to wait a while. Concentrate on things they DO know about and leave The Great Novel until they've built up their self-confidence and experience.

Also - as one gets further in one's career one learns to trust one's Editors and advisers or else find new ones. I think a writer who had to resort to using a 'sensitivity reader' would be a huge red flag to any serious publisher though, don't you?
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 10:08:47 AM

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Parser, I imagine this might be an example in the textbook field of what you are railing against?

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/13/421744763/how-textbooks-can-teach-different-versions-of-history

Sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. Anon
will
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:26:28 AM
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Romany. What's YA?

Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 12:46:20 PM

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Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
will wrote:
Romany. What's YA?

I had to run Google for this - authors for children and young adults.
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:09:25 PM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
Posts: 3,771
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Hope123 wrote:
I imagine this might be an example in the textbook field of what you are [discussing].




Thanks.
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