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"Director's Cut" Books

Annotated novels offering an eye into the writing process
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Picture a special version of Stephen King's latest novel which containes commentary by King describing how he came to certain decisions about the course of the story. It could also contain sections deleted (either by King of his editor) and why they were removed.
WanderingKnight, Apr 07 2003

Complete and Uncut! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stand
Stephen King - Book Director! [S-note, May 14 2010]

On Writing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Writing
It's good. [wagster, May 14 2010]

[link]






       These have been done for some other authors, mostly ones long dead, where they feature the author's scribbled notes from the margins of the galley proofs and such like. And I've seen lengthy explanatory pieces by several authors (Michael Moorcock, for example).
DrCurry, Apr 07 2003
  

       All of these books were annotated by someone ELSE. What I was envisioning was a version of a King book by King himself.
WanderingKnight, Apr 07 2003
  

       I'm with Jutta. Someone (perhaps Neitzsche) once said - "If you have a good thought, tell me the thought. Not the thinking of that thought".   

       If the thought/idea/book is worthwhile, then it stands as its own justification. If it's weak, then maybe it does need some kind of DVD-style "Directors Commentary" to excuse itself.   

       I've read a lot of essays by writers on writing, and they all seem to agree that the "delete" button is the most used key on their keyboard.   

       Writers are craftsmen. Whilst what they take away from their stories makes their message all the more potent, reading the bits they take away makes about as much sense as examining the shavings left on the floor after a sculptor is finished.
lostdog, Apr 07 2003
  

       jutta - if you like DVD commentaries, I would recommend Robert Rodreigez's Director's Commentary on Spy Kids 2. He wrote, directed, did cinematography and edited the movie, and has a lot of interesting things to say about the nature of creativity. It's obviously something he's studied and feels passionately about. The voiceover is better than the actual film.
lostdog, Apr 07 2003
  

       //This is an odd opinion, since I very much do enjoy listening to the DVD commentaries.//
I don't think thats odd at all. There's a big difference between a movie and a book. A book is usually the work of one person. A movie (auteur theory or not) is a collaboration involving many, many people. The insight into that collaborative process is what I think make DVD commentaries interesting.
krelnik, Apr 07 2003
  

       I find the term "I love you" quite a bit more enchanting than the term "let me tell you why I love you."   

       I second the endorsement of the Rodriguez commentary on Spy Kids 2. It is a bracingly direct editorial on how to make a movie while eschewing just about every Hollywood standard on the books. I mean, the guy edited it in his living room in Austin.
bristolz, Apr 07 2003
  

       I don't think this is a bad idea on its face at all. It depends more on exactly what the 'director's cut' material is.
The last thing I'd want to read is onanistic musings on the editing process. But I can imagine other content that I would find genuinely interesting and/or entertaining--cultural notes about Sri Lanka for example, interviews about source material, and who knows? Dave Eggers comes to mind, in 'a heartbreaking work..." itself there is a lot of content and structure that is very 'director's cut'-like, and I'd welcome a new edition with additional appended material.
If the material is well written, and interesting, why not? Just because it deals with the topic of the finished book is not reason to consider it unworthy out of hand.
roby, Apr 08 2003
  

       If you read the Stephen King 'Dark Tower' series of novels - this is exactly what King did. He explains changes made throught the narrative and the clearing up of mistakes or empty plot devices. He even rewrote large portions of 'The Stand' and issued a 'never read before' version.
S-note, May 14 2010
  

       I might've considered reading The Stand (director's commentary) if I hadn't read (though that isn't quite the word... processed ? downchucked ? literary suppositoried ? stared-with-fascinated-horror at-a-trainwreck ?) the DT series (which, despite normally being a King fannish, made me wish for an outhouse with a nail inside to hang books on so I could properly get my money's worth). While there are sections which are readable (about 3/4 of a book's worth compiled between the entire 7 of them), none of them are central to the story in the first place.   

       My favorite quote from the afterwords is "don't write me any fucking hatemail about this shit" (okay I've paraphrased a little, but not much).
FlyingToaster, May 14 2010
  

       Books should have a bonus chapter of bloopers at the end, like DVDs, where the dialogue between the characters proceeds normally, then one of them says something wrong and everyone falls about laughing.
hippo, May 14 2010
  

       [+] to [hippo]'s anno.
FlyingToaster, May 14 2010
  

       I'm totally with you on the Dark Tower, [flyingtoaster] - flashes of great writing, but watered down with much blah. However, King approached the novel/commentary idea from the other side with "On Writing" [link] - a non-fiction description of his writing process that uses large tracts of his written work, with analysis. It's much more interesting.   

       [+]
wagster, May 14 2010
  
      
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