Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Pesky Words

I'm editing the article for the Nebraska History magazine and I'm finding a lot of "that" sprinkled throughout. It's annoying.

Writing academic is a whole lot different than writing fiction. You can't use contractions because that's not formal enough. Using flowery language is definitely out. In fact, I'm finding a whole lot of "was" words in there, as well, which is really driving me crazy. I want to edit the heck out of it. I guess it's because that's what I do at work every day.

We had also wanted to use a photo of a Marlene Dietrich movie poster - "The Flame of New Orleans" (which I watched a very long time ago, but don't remember very well) - because it was one of the first movies the German POWs watched at the camp. But after contacting Universal Studios, I found it was going to cost us $250. For a state historical society's budget, that just isn't going to work. I'm a little miffed because I thought it fell under the "Fair Use Act" of the copyright law, but guess not. So now I need to try and figure out something else.

It's a fine line, walking between the academic/historical world and the fictional world. Sometimes I like to cross those lines, though. Ideally, I'd like to work at a university and cross those lines. But I'd have to make sure I had financial security some other way - like lottery winnings! The Ivory Tower of Academia is not a joke - it is very real. And oh, how I'd love to smash through it.


  1. Wow, that is a lot of money. How obnoxious.

    Academics certainly does use a totally different way of writing than fiction. Not nearly as fun.

  2. I just talked to the editor and he said he wasn't that surprised by the cost. Hopefully we can talk them down since $250 is a good chunk of change of the magazine's publishing budget.


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