Don't hold them to deadlines. They'll only turn in rough drafts.

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Editor in Chief of a publishing house:
— Well, for what it's worth, here's what I've learned in 30 years: Treat the authors as human beings. Don't stint on review copies. Don't hold them to deadlines. They'll only turn in rough drafts.

Wolf, movie

Could you please explain me the bold part? And what do the both "them/they" refer to?
Thank you.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Authors.
    If you force an author to give you something by a specific time (=hold them to deadines) they will produce an incomplete work (a rough draft).

    hold, v.
    1. to make accountable:[~ + object]We will hold you to your word.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you force authors to submit their text by a specific date, you risk their giving you work that’s little more than a rough draft — because the writer needed more time to get it as he/she wanted.

    Them/they both mean the authors.



    cross-posted
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    "Them" and "they" refer to the authors.
    "Don't hold them to deadlines" means don't require them to complete their manuscripts by a certain date.
    If you do so, "they'll only turn in rough drafts" = The authors will only submit an unfinished version of their book.

    Cross-posted
     
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