Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Creative Control

C turned out to be a tougher topic than I first imagined but here is one I never really thought about posting until now. Creative control is an interesting topic because we often think of our own stories as something we control (okay, or in some cases the characters control, we're writers we understand) but there are other aspects to the topic of creative control we can consider.

What is Creative Control?
It is term often used in media production, such as movies, television, and music. A person with the control has the authority to decide how the final product will appear. It is sometimes referred to as Artistic Control.

A few Web sites to check out:

We all dream about not only publication but also what may lay beyond that milestone. Creative control comes in different elements from characters, plot, other aspects of the novel, covers and movie scripts. And for the most part, I'd like to think, we get to keep that control (okay except with the movies cause I'm sure unless very popular like JK Rowling, or already known for writing movies, there is less control in how the movie turns out). There will be suggestions made, of course, in order to improve the work but that doesn't necessarily mean the creators work is tampered or the control taken away from them. And we all have to know our limits: some things we won't change for specific reasons and the rest have an open mind.

Self-publishing is a way some people pick to keep complete creative control of their work. It takes effort, and like any path of publishing both advantages and disadvantages, but there is that sense of control from layout, to story elements, to even the cover. For some, this is the right path, and for others it's not, but that's for each writer to decide.

What are your thoughts on Creative Control?
Is Creative Control an ideal or something you strive to maintain?


Em-Musing said...

Hi, thanks for your comment on my blog for C. I'm following you now. Hmm? I believe I ultmately have to have creative control, but I know enough about myself that I can't possibly know everything (imagine that), and I have to bow to other's creativity and experience.

Magic27 said...

I don't have much (any!) experience of this as a writer, but as a translator, although it's not exactly "creative" control, I need to know that I do have control over what is published. Which is why I'm supposed to be the last person to sign off on a translation for publication. In reality, this rarely happens and it drives me insane.
I think I would find it very hard to see anthing I'd written adapted for the screen in a way that didn't fit with my ideas - but I guess if it's "wrong", then maybe I wasn't precise enough in my writing?
Hmmm. Better shut up, I think. I don't really know what I'm talking about...

Cheree Smith said...

Creative control is good to an extent. When working with an agent or publisher it is understandable if they have suggestions that the writer is not happy with, but since they will benefit from the story in the long run, they are only trying to make the story better.

Dawn Embers said...

Em-Musing - Good point. It's good to know one's own limits and to be able to accept advice from other's who are in the field with more experience.

Magic27 - That would drive me insane too. Interesting point about movies. And the truth is the movie can't be exactly like the book, but there are ways to get so both end products are good.

Cheree Smith - Indeed, to an extent. Good addition. Not willing to make any changes may be going in the wrong direction as well.

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Hi Dawn. I just did a novel writing course run by a structural editor. With the amount of work which is done on a book once the publishers get hold of it, I only wonder how the self pubs can be any good without this team at work on the ms?


Dawn Embers said...

Denise - That is a very good point Denise and why some people are so against reading anything self published even though there are some great ones out there. There are just too many that take the self published step too early and the end product really hurts others who choose the same path. That is why it's good to be able to give up a little of that control in order to produce the best product for the reader.