Ernest Hemingway spent a summer after WWII as a resident of Biddeford Pool, Maine. I worked in my brother George’s general store.
Every morning Hemingway would show up and buy a pack of Philip Morris cigarettes. He would go through a pack a day and never light one.
There were no filters on these cigarettes and when the tip became soggy he would tear it off and put it back in his mouth. By the end of the day the pack would be empty and I would see him again the next morning.
In Hemingway’s opinion writing should be judged by its creativeness and art. He believed one should be a master of the language and then feel free to take liberties with its content.
In my opinion I believe that content should be expressed in the rhythm and harmony of the culture the writer is writing about. This goes without saying when using dialogue, but even prose should be free to reflect the traditions of the environment. There is more to life than knowing how to boil an egg. I think philosophical knowledge will contribute more to a person’s happiness than making toast.
To delete a thought of great beauty because of punctuation, grammar or spelling is a spiritual crime. Our language came about by the liberties writers toke with it. Prose should lull one to immeasurable pleasure. By the same token the writer that masters the language and the art of expressing himself will get the satisfaction that is hard to find in any other craft.
Only a fool would edit his own work. That is much easier said than done. The pay scale for writers is a dime a dozen and good writers and excellent writers fall pretty much in the same pay scale.
Thanks to blogs, online publications, and self-publication we are swamped in knowledge. My daughter earned her business major without ever setting foot on campus. She cared for her two children and worked full time as a stockbroker
With the cost of tuition out of control, more students should earn their degrees online.
Almost all of the work I am basing on the formal part of my education has earned me next to nothing. Even my best selling book resulted in the distributor paying himself such an outrageous fee that there was very little left for me. Now I know how corrupt the publishing industry can be.
If an agent or publisher request a fee for reading your manuscript, look out! He is not an agent or publisher, he is a reader for a fee. Should one have the gift of an Ernest Hemingway and gets the author’s manuscript to a publisher, your success is assured. On the other hand the “God Father” was rejected more than a dozen times.
An agent is supposed to determine the marketability of a manuscript. A submission of mine to an agency was rejected. The rejection was in the form of a twelve-page letter rebutting the points I made. It was obvious from the letter that the rejection was based on the editor’s bias and not on the quality of my work. “Hey man, not your job.”
And a final thought, one can learn more from editors than from any other source. Unfortunately for me my editor/agent died within a week of telling me that for me it was not a matter of if but when?