This clause is in my new book contract:
“The Works shall not contain any recipe, formula, suggestion or advice which if followed has the potential to cause harm…”
Oh dear. I immediately cut out the “charm of powerful trouble recipe”, you know, the one on page 234, the bit about boiling and baking the “Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing…” After all, even if readers aren’t crazy enough to drink it, we all know how badly things went wrong when someone dabbled with that mixture, right? And nowadays we have to worry about bird flu, SARS, salmonella and rabies as well. OK, toss that bit.
But what on earth am I going to do with that description of teaching the lad how to fight with a sword on p.93? Or the battle description on p.450. Loads of advice with the potential to cause harm there. You know, stuff along the lines of: “Lop off the dastardly knave’s head, you fool!”
I do so love lawyer lingo.