Quoting the Experts

“No writer sitting down at his typewriter can be absolutely sure what will emerge.” Quote by Foster-Harris, from The Basic Patterns of Plot, the University of Oklahoma Press.

The small hardback copy has a wealth of information that has continually inspired me. Out of print now, my copy I treasure and still love reading it.

Recently, a minor character in my short story (or novelette)  took on a mind of her own and was conversing quite beautifully with the protagonist. “Whoa!” my critique group said.  They advised deleting part of her conversation, changing it in a major way. That’s my favorite passage,  I thought. But our critique group’s rules frown on arguing the point. Finally, I  agreed and worked in the changes.

Somewhere I have heard or read that a good rule to follow is: cut your copy even in the sentences you first believe are your very best!  Listen to your reader. After all, isn’t your reader the person to whom you are writing?

© 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

2 comments on “Quoting the Experts

  1. that must be quite hard…I’m sorry to say…I don’t like critiquing of things I do…Something I need to work on for sure!


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