Thursday, December 4, 2008

the critic speaks

Today's lesson: Never believe the praise of your dearest friends. I sent my new essay, the one I'm so proud of that my dearest friend thought was the best thing I've ever written, to another dearest friend and sometime editor Wayson. And this was his response:

Yes, this story has its flesh and bone - dynamite if you cut about half.   You wander into details that tell the same thing over and over again.  Cut.  Restructure.   The beginning is too chatty, little resonance or foreshadowing.  Don't lose focus on the haunting and the wonderful way you have ended it - very moving.   We'll talk about this.

And today's other lesson - one we've had before, class - is: The lucky writer has a cold, clear, trustworthy editor. 


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