ARTISTIC LICENSE | HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO SELL YOUR BOOK?| Tn Odu, Literary Agent, Phantom House Books, Nigeria, LLC

Artistic License | How far is too far? How far are you willing to sell your book? Or soul…
With the proliferation of writers and publishing houses nowadays, there is a lot of literature out there. Smaller publishing and vanity presses also give authors/writers the full copyright ownership. A welcome development? Well, it depends on which side you’re on.

From every writer’s point of view, it is a gold mine. You can write almost anything you want and get away with it that’s what it means! Many movies, films, documentaries, and memoirs wouldn’t be what they are today if they had been written the plain old fashion way; keeping to facts and trying to walk the timeline. Nowadays, crime drama and historical fiction retell ancient stories in exciting new ways, even more exciting than the way it happened in verity. Just to keep the legend alive? No. Just to sell a story? Well, yes. Yes please.
Emotion, blood, adrenaline, love and action sell stories. Even when it has to do with pride and prejudice…humph. Or the legendary, or boring, Henry the VI. Depends on how you look at it. It’s an unanimous yes vote for artistic license. But, that’s from a ball pen’s point of view.
From an otherwise cautionary point of view, the editor is a diplomat. He or She has to walk the thin line between writers and publishing houses, which is like having to decide between the flour maker and the bread baker if you own a bakery, that is. Shucks! I’d come out and say it once:
The editor is the Saint to the writer, but the whore of the Publishing houses. That’s it. I’ve said it. Sue me if you can. Those words should be carved in gold. They couldn’t have come out truer. I’m kind of proud of myself for mustering the courage to s…em…humph. Back to business. Artistic license is hated for one thing; it’s screws up facts. And facts make up history. Hence, echo: it screws up history. You don’t want to be the one who’d tell Obama to be the first president of America do you? Or Osama been a former agent of the CiA? Or was that true?…humph. got me. I’m confused.
The editor will tell you, “say, it does make a good story ol’ chap, but try to moderate what you say!”
What Bloody kind of answer is that, I ask you? That’s crazy. With Art there is no middle ground. Artistic license is what it is. It’s a license. And like every other license, e.g. a valid porn/club license or the more honorable/official driver’s license, it’s either you use it or you don’t. That’s a diplomatic reply if you ask me. That’s an editor is you ask me.
I type quicker than I can pen down.
Anyway, the last and the ‘least heard’ but ‘more felt’ response are the big bad asses, the Publishing Houses themselves. Their stamps clamp down on the length of artistic license given to the writer.
The more traditional publishing houses are guilty of this. Smaller, but not lesser (preferentially), publishing houses like mine,, don’t have this guilty. Or this macho to exercise this sort of clamping power. But, giving writers their liberty—free reign, no holds (or business) barred, helps us kick these humongous giants in the arse. Pardon my expression. I could be part Irish. Nonetheless, the answer’s are a general NO. or in capitals like the one I got wrote. It saves them all the works in the works if you get my drift? The Paper work and so on…. Including ’the less important’ legal work and so… Huh..
Got it?
So how far can you exercise your license for your writing art? —You answer that.
May be as far as you want to/or allowed to. But, You didn’t hear that from me on this blog site. Kapish


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