Counterstatement to "Editorials"
Written by Makke
I just read Psychic Symphony's article about Adok's long editorials, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't agree with him. Editorials should in my opinion be where the editor speaks his mind to the readers. Yes, many professional magazines only have small editorials, but if you think about it they almost never reflect what the magazine contains. Mostly it's about something funny, sad, amusing thing that has happened to the editor since the last issue. An editorial can be philosophical, technically concrete or just a plain story of an incident that happened yesterday.
I think the editorial is very important for the image of the mag and its editor. To only use it as a way to present the mag would be like using it as an extended file_id.diz. That's no fun. If you want to know what's in the mag go look at the topics! Why should the editor write them all over again in a different place? The editor COULD use it to present SOME articles from the mag, but that's only relevant if the editor has something to add to the article such as technical facts or just his own opinion.
I like Adok's editorials. I look forward to them in every issue. They're pleasant to read, and often contain reflections of Adok's personality. And to get a good feeling for the mag, you "need to know" the editor. And the editorial is the place to do this.
To compare the editorial to a prelude is in my opinion wrong. A book usually keeps to the same issue/story the whole time, which can be reflected shortly in the prelude. This is important to know before you buy a book. If you buy a book, come home and discover that the book wasn't at all about what you thought it was, you'll get disappointed, and feel you just threw the money away. That's the importance of a prelude. To get an idea what the book is about BEFORE you buy it. However, to be able to read the editorial of a diskmag you have to download it first. And what's the point of saying "Congratulations, you've just downloaded two megabytes of THIS and THAT! Hope you like it!" when it's already downloaded? Should you download the mag, read the editorial just to figure out you actually didn't want to read it and thus delete it from your HD? I can't see the logic in that.
A few more questions pop up. Does a diskmag as well known as Hugi really need a presentation? Doesn't everybody already know what to expect?
So what should an editorial be like? I think the editorial should include some sort of "impression" or happening in the editor's life since the last issue. Could be scene related, but doesn't have to be. (Could be some demo he really liked, some interesting person he's met or just how much he really hates his moms cooking.) Then there should be some reflection of the editor's opinion on a "big scene question", such as MP3s in demos. The editorial should both be a little philosophical and "technically correct". To write such an editorial you need to be good. I think Adok's editorials reflect relevant and interesting things that I gladly read. Not just because I like Adok as a friend, but also because it's good to know what's up in the head of the editor.
If I should give my opinion on the rest of PS's article, I think spontaneous writing is good. Everyone should do it. To just get your thoughts out in text is good. That way you can keep your first impressions forever, otherwise they'll fade away rather fast. This is always how I write. I get an idea, and I type. But, then I put the "finished" article aside, and don't look at it until a few days later. Then I read it again. And if there's something I feel I should change, I change it. I've written this very article this way, and almost every other. However, I think one should view his articles before calling them finished. To check if the English language is used right, and if there are any spelling mistakes. Good English is always more nice to read than bad. But don't let your "bad English" stop you in your writing. If you feel you have bad English, just write your article and send it to somebody you know who has better English and ask them to correct it for you. I don't think your friend will mind (as long as you don't send him 200 kbyte of text to view over night).
So just let it flow, and don't let "bad language" stop you in your creativity. Remember, an impression might just be for the moment. So be sure to get it down on paper. When you have your impression "backed up" you can work more freely with it.
Psychic Symphony: Uhm... was I off topic just now?