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Old 05-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
Newkidontheblock
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Smile What are derivative devices in literature

One of the reviews I received from a Beta reader used that term. Any ideas as to what they meant. I could ask them but I dont want to sound like an idiot.

Michael,
I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I enjoyed your book very much, it had some interesting plot points, and derivative devices.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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I would think they meant that some elements in the book are derivative of other works (seems to be a positive for them). I personally wouldn't consider anyone an idiot that asked me for clarification on anything I said or wrote. So I would recommend just asking them.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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By now pretty much *everything* is derivative of something else to *some* extent.
Where it can be a problem is when it is too close and too *recognizably similar* to something else.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newkidontheblock View Post
One of the reviews I received from a Beta reader used that term. Any ideas as to what they meant. I could ask them but I dont want to sound like an idiot.

Michael,
I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I enjoyed your book very much, it had some interesting plot points, and derivative devices.
I would parse that as the plot points and derivative devices being interesting. And devices to be a reference to plot devices. Derivative from other plot points in the same book, as in, this leads to that, and that leads to the other thing? Seems more likely if it's intended as a compliment.

But you'd do far better to ask the person who wrote it what they mean. Otherwise, you could take honest negative feedback as a compliment. What's worse? Looking like an idiot, or being one? I've tried both, and prefer the former.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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To me, sounds like they mean you copied something from another book and made it your own.
Ask for specifics. Cause it is a general throw-away term in my opinion if not backed up.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newkidontheblock View Post
One of the reviews I received from a Beta reader used that term. Any ideas as to what they meant. I could ask them but I dont want to sound like an idiot.

Michael,
I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I enjoyed your book very much, it had some interesting plot points, and derivative devices.
It would make perfect sense if it were a book about puts, calls, futures, and swaps. But otherwise, it would need clarification.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:00 PM   #7
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I'd honestly need the context (the entire sentence) to understand it, but the easiest way is probably just ask your beta reader to clarify
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:43 PM   #8
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I think the interesting thing here is the use of the term beta reader.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:45 AM   #9
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Why is that interesting Giggle?
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:00 AM   #10
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Because it abandons the notion of a finished text.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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ok, thanks for responding.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:32 PM   #12
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ok, thanks for responding.
lol, here's something else, by beta reading a text, has the beta reader become part of the texts creation?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #13
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I think the interesting thing here is the use of the term beta reader.
It's always been used by writers.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:16 AM   #14
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It's always been used by writers.
And yet many still believe a text to be a singular act of creation...
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:35 AM   #15
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No, they are not part of it, just first to witness it. They were reading a full novel. It has not been professionally edited but complete. Now, as the name said I am new to all of this but from what I have read and been told, this is what I need to do. I also like the feedback I get. It gives me some Idea of what to expect from the agents that requested fulls.

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