Red coals glow among gray ashes in the fireplace. A log tumbles and sparks flame into an orange blaze. Suddenly the room is filled with a warm, tranquil atmosphere. I don’t feel warm or calm, right now. But I realize why I came back to San Saba. I came to end something . . . so that I can begin my life anew. Without Whit.
From this day forward . . . without you, Whit Langley, I promise–I’ll get by.
“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?
“I am never indifferent and never pretend to be, to what people say or think of my books. They are my children, and I like to have them liked.” Quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Excerpt from my 1980 diary: ” I understand this quotation by Longfellow. My writing, too, is a part of me and I want people to like it. I must realize, of course, that not all people will like what I write, just as not all people like me. I must learn to be content with those who do like me.”