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My Romance Novel Days
Member Name: Cammij
Date: 13/08/02, updated on 13/08/02 (537 review reads)
Advantages: Freedom, Easy office job, free snacks
Disadvantages: low pay
I am really vulnerable about this subject and I am very shy about my life away from Dooyoo but I am finally willing to admit what I do for a livelihood. I am an editorial assistant for a Romance Novel publisher-subscription service. Actually my title is Fact-Checker, but I edit the books (I'll get to this later). I know there will be much unconstructive criticism of what I do (I am shiva of the literate world, I sell emotional crack-cocaine, I don't know what literature is and so on and off). I just want to say this, I am from a nice little town called Barnsley, and what I see is that when a fat ass bloke comes home from working the mines and grabs his ale and steak and then is perfectly content to eat his grub and watch Pompey play his wife needs the love and excitement of Moira and Padraig as they escape famine to start a new life in New York, or hear about heroines with long tresses and full breasts being saved from French corsairs by swashbuckling cavaliers.
The books I help produce are quite possibly shit, no I mean they are quite certainly shit. But all across old Albion many neglected and unhappy wives eagerly await their fortnighly timely subscribed shipment of two novels that give magic and excitement to their existence, for merely 5 pounds 95 pence per shipment. Romance novels do what classic literature can't, it offers dreams, realistic dreams, I mean really, how believeable is "Tess" or "Jane Eyre", or what relevance does "Dubliners" or "For Whom the Bell Tolls" hold for us today?
Let me explain how I got my job. As most of you know I grew up in the colonies, Ohio to be exact. I was working as a eighth grade Math teacher and I was on vacation in Orlando one summer. Unfortunately I was with my brother and we were in a bar that had that trivia nonsense going on. Him and me got into a rather obnoxious and pedantic contest of braggartry. We would loudly answer all the questions and
give all sorts of reasons to dismiss the incorrect answers. Finally, as we hoped, we were cautiously approached by another patron (we like to pick fights. i.e. patron approaches, "do you mind keeping it down and limiting your profane langauge?", BAMMMM!!! Double shot power, Me: Hey buddy, I am gonna keep talking, but lets see you talk with your teeth on the floor)
So this guys name is Melvin and he is impressed with our knowledge. He is from Barnsley and asks how we got to be so smart. Popeye tells him we went to Yale and Dartmouth (he didn't imply we went to class there, he said we went there, which in fact we did, we went to art shows, football games and the campus bookstore). I explain that I watch a lot of TV. Then Tabitha (that dumb whore I was married to) tells him that I am all day on the web trivia sites. Then Melvin gets excited and asks if I really fancy computers. Next thing I know I go from being a math teacher to a "Fact Checker" for a major publisher all because of showing off my trivial knowledge.
See this is the remarkable thing about the publisher I work for, the concept of formula fiction has gone so far as that now they do not even employ writers, a super computer writes the entire novel based on a series of plots and concepts and it sends out spiders onto the web to build a story, for instance it seeks out pirate sites, Great Trek sites and so on if it finds a niche story that hasn't been filled yet. The computer can be instructed to utilize certain elements, for instance in October 2001 we put in the parameters, "Persia, Anti-Islam, blond hero" and the computer wrote a romantic adventure taking place in 1800's Iran that was timely anti Islamic. So people get a boost from the fact that they feel they are learning about current events and world history when they read our books. Its subtle manipulation but if you overhear a frumpy housewife talking about the oppression of the Manchu dy
nasty during the 1780's it is because she got "Manchurian Fire" in the post last week or if she seems to know a thing or two about Hugonauts it is because she received "Trials of the Soul" last month.
So what do I do? I wear many hats. Basically I read the first drafts that the computer generates. Usually it is just sappy drivel but none the less I am checking to see if Emily could have sailed on the Steam Packet to Cairo in 1848 or if Jenna could have rode the B&O express from Baltimore to Dayton (to sleep with Orville Wrights assistant) and so forth. For instance I have to make sure Emily on the steam packet doesn't put the handsome porter's e-mail address in her palm pilot. I change things that are particularily wrong. Then I also homogenize the books, I hate to admit this to me mates, but I de-Anglicize the books, I am sorry, I am a traitor to the crown, but I take our books from the Queen's English and the Colonists dialect and put it in the neutral middle. It is neccassary as so many of our sales are from other colonies and ESL people trying to learn English by reading romance novels.
Curiously it seems as though our computer has split personalities. When it follows an "Abacus plot" ABC (finds true love, loses love, overcomes historical trauma to save love) or "Adelaide" ADE (Finds true love, Love is killed, marries better substitute) or Beowulf BEF (Loses love, marries better substitute and he gets killed saving her life-or child , finds love in her child and a new frontier) anyways when the computer makes a Abacus plot he is obsessed with Veroinica Lake and Errol Flynn and all these old Hollywood movies. So I have to go though and change all references to a "Hearty Clark Gable type" to a "Self assured Bruce Willis type" or from a "Tawny Jayne Mansfield pose" to a "Sassy Pam Anderson pout" I don't know why he is hung up on old movies. The
n if he makes an Adelaide plot he is a dirty sick bastard. He talks about fisting and all sorts of stuff I have not even heard of until I research the stuff on pay gay web sites. He also talks about strange stuff that should not exist in his microchips, "She felt along his rigid excitement of manhood and smoothly stroked his shaved scroutum". Now how in the hell am I supposed to find out if Barbarian warriors in 478 AD shaved their scrotums? So I just cut that whole part out.
So that is what I do, help rob genuine writers of their livlihood by reworking computer imagined filth for 23,500 pounds per year. It is fun, I mean I get paid to read books all day and can sneak onto the web, ostensibly for research. So it is a good job, despite the pay sucks, but we have free coffee here and snacks every day.
Let me close with a passage from my latest efforts that were culled from the web and the innards of the computer today, it was entitled "Ghetto Bride" In it Mordecai and Rebekah escape the 18th century Roman Ghetto and emigrate to America where he ends up a doctor and she opposes slavery. The computer seemed to find too many American contemporary urban "ghetto" references as well as too much about the 1944 Warsaw ghetto uprising.
The Oberstrumfuhrer drew his rapier and pointed it at Mordecai.
"I is the King of dis Hood" Mordecai vowed, "All you can do is set me free of the bondage and give my throne to one of my homies"
"As long as there is Crack Cocaine there will be a ghetto of your people's mind", the evil German snarled, "And with the Soviets parked on the Vistula none of us shall leave here alive"
"Wrong contested Mordecai, as his heart swelled with love of Rebekah, "There is land and Freedom enough for all of us in Nebraska"
So folks, do you see what I have to work with? What I really am? I just don't fix that rubb
ish, I end up writing most of it.
Forgive me. Cammij
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