The Pledge

Something’s troubling me. As I stare on the road ahead with my work here, something is bothering me…

That something is, as ever, the future. But first a little background.

Everyone loves Star Wars, but the intellectual property has been thoroughly defiled by its creator, George Lucas, over thirty-plus years. This is something you expect never to happen, especially by a man with whom the relationship to the work is so paramount.

I’m not going to go into the gory details of Lucas’ incessant and largely needless meddling for the sake of meddling. We all know what happened and casually musing about it got me thinking.

This is not how I will be operating. So let’s set some stuff out here and now:

  • My work is proudly of its time and I will not be introducing needless “updated” versions of my stories in response to any eventualities five, ten years in the future. Once a book or story is done, it is going to be done, bar any major snafu or embarrassing grammatical cockup.
  • Originals are never lost here; I keep quite studious backups before I even do revision work on an unfinished project. The same will apply if I ever do “revisit” work later; the original, unaltered versions, no matter how clunky or error-ridden, will always be available in addition to significant newer updates.
  • I have to justify my actions here before proceeding with any sort of rejig of an early project. I realise that my abilities and experience will increase in writing exponentially the more I write, and I will refine my craft over the course of time. If, from time to time, the thought occurs to me to revisit work for, say, an anthology or something similar, I will pledge now to justify any changes I make here; not only to the public, but to myself, which will be even harder I suspect…

The key theme here is that I will not “pull a Lucas” and make major structural or story-related edits for the sake of a new font in my editor or other new toy that becomes available to my disposal. Anyway, isn’t it better to use the new toys on a totally new project instead of just rehashing and reheating old material? Better to look forward than forever over one’s shoulder at what might-be?