January 19, 2010

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE: SHOW TIME!

I shall now show you something, and it is just one instance, there are many more... but then I would have to get the printed version of It Takes A Wizard off my book shelf and touch it, and ever since I had to buy my own book off Amazon to find out that entire sections of dialogue had been raped, dumbed down and altered without my approval... even looking at the book is painful for me, especially since a lot of the criticism levelled agains the book by some reviewers is based on said altered texts, and I'm the one who gets the public blame for this, despite the fact that this wasn't what I wrote...

In the book, for those of you who did buy it, you will find a long scene during which Isaac walks through the Holland tunnel, getting attacked by some rather ferocious goblins. Now, I wanted to play the goblins like they were almost like a hive mind, and not an incredibly intelligent one at that, which is the reason they have many voices but only few words...

... I also needed to set up the notion that Isaac was afraid, and that the performance of magic isn't something he does lightly (or is indeed capable of doing with big forethought, as his scene with Bonaventura showed in chapter one of the book)...

... and so I had him pushed and badgered by those goblins and him holding back until this very moment, where he is frightened but at the same time asserts some measure of control. It also sets up the notion later explored in the book, during the flashback of Isaac's Central Station performance, that Isaac isn't all that good on a stage, that he is shy, and thus I ended it like this (watch the second double spread closely)



Notice something. Something that is here, on the last PDF proof I was shown (hence the marks at each side)...and something that isn't?

That's right. In the book you hold in your hands, the only thing Isaac "says" at the end of the last page is "It's showtime", you know, like a retarded Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liner from the 80s. "Iz... shuhtime", immediately turning a character that was well-rounded and had flaws.... into the caricature of a human being.

I've shown the comparison to one of a friend I had lost touch with long ago, and we only re-connected because she had bought the book (not knowing that it was written by somebody she actually had known once, yes, life is sometimes really freaky)... and she had some of the criticisms that others had as well, and so I showed her and said, compare...
Okay, they pay per letter? What? This makes SO MUCH more sense. The whole you leave me no choice...show time thing never did make much sense to me.
... and all I am saying is that each writer should face criticism, should take it head on, but this particular writer here is not going to defend something that was altered without knowledge or approval, because it is my name on the book, and people will think that I wrote some of the more horrendous bits of dialogue that you see on the printed page. It's... cheating.

It's showtime, my ass.

I might show you other instances, from time to time. But each time it will be painful for me, so don't count on that being a daily or even a weekly thing, since each time I have to look at what they did that spoon over there looks mightily interesting as I ponder what kind of damage one can do with it, if you have the proper military training.