Friday, August 25, 2017

Anthology Collaboration – The Mastermind

I’ve begun to hum the Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune ‘Getting to know you, getting to know all about you, Getting to like you…♪♫♪♫’ And now you’re humming it too. Funny how that works. Sorry.
My last two blog posts informed you of a project I’ve taken on – or more like entered into. Sort of mysterious at first as I mused in Anthology Collaboration - Introduction. Why me? Why them? Why now?
The answers are slowly coming forward. For instance, I now know ‘who’. By that, I mean who of the other four was the brainchild behind this anthology. His name is Frank Sikora. You don’t have to google him because my next post should be filled with info about the mystery man.
He responded after he read my post, Anthology Collaboration - Editing and has allowed me to quote him:
“I enjoyed your editing article. I was hoping for more, a blow-by-blow detail of how you worked with Steve. I, myself, am not so involved. I accepted all of Steve’s and Nancy’s suggestions. Steve caught a couple of logistic oversights, and he tightened up a few of my paragraphs. He only took out one or two lines I felt should stay in. I usually give carte blanche to editors unless they really miss the point of the story.” 

Well, Frank, I worried about divulging too much of the behind-the-scenes stuff. After all, what goes on in the editing room stays in the editing room. But if you insist…

Steve (you’ll meet him later) suggested a few – not really changes, more like tweaks – to my stories. Oh, but he did remove a character from one of my stories. He just had a bit part and Steve was right to get rid of him. Otherwise, it was changing a word or two for clarification or moving a sentence around. His changes made the work stronger. That’s the whole idea behind editing. Unfortunately, not all editors know that…don’t get me started.

Steve did suggest title changes for a couple of my stories. Now, having someone suggest a different title for your work is like someone wanting to rename your kid. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The wrong title can give away too much of the story or it might mislead the reader. One must be careful. Steve and I ultimately decided to stay with the original titles.

Mastermind Frank provided another quote about the anthology:

“Putting together an anthology by committee is inherently a bad/good idea. Everyone should have a say, but I think individuals should have final say over respective parts of the process. Under a different and more traditional scenario, a writer would not have final say over the editing process other than withdrawing his or her work. That wouldn’t work for this process because we all have equal financial and editorial investments. Yet, at some point concessions must be made. With me, I handed over story selection and editing to Nancy and Steve. To Marketing, I concede all final decisions to you. (Yikes, that’s me.) 

Artistically, Nancy (You’ll meet her, too) and I have worked together quite closely, and I have made changes based on her suggestions because as an art director I have learned to balance trusting my knowledge and experience with the good judgment to listen and consider another person’s opinion (but not everyones!)” (Got it! Not everyone has a valid opinion.) 

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to find out more about Frank Sikora. Hmmm….now for a fun Q & A. Stay tuned.

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