- Lester Curtis
- Long Fiction Editor
- Posts: 2734
- Joined: January 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM
- Location: by the time you read this, I'll be somewhere else
I especially appreciate the section titled, "Nobody Notices Hard Work Until It Isn't There."
I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse, but I have a friend who keeps reminding me of this, by way of contrast. He slaps stories together haphazardly and thinks they're wonderful. I met this guy in a writers' group, and we were there last night. After his reading, I challenged him on an item. He had written that one of his characters "desperately needed" a job promotion, and I asked him, Why? He just grinned and said, "It doesn't matter!" I told him it does matter, since he had called the reader's attention to it. I told him that if it didn't matter, he should not have made it sound so urgent. His response: "You think too much."
And he thinks that agents and editors are going to miss the plot holes and inconsistencies that I bring up in his work. I bring up a problem and he says, "Nobody's gonna see that." I tell him, "I saw it! And agents and editors are certainly going to see it!" He denies that, too.
I suppose he's right; no agent will see those things; his manuscript will go from slush-pile to round-file and never get as far as any of their desks. But he likes 'Easy.'
He really is a nice guy, and I like him. I try to help him become a better writer. I may have to quit, though; I can't help getting aggravated with him.
Not that I don't have my own problems, but I go to the effort to fix them. I just hope I find them all, and sometimes I don't. Just a few weeks ago, I caught a doozy; a plot hole so deep and wide it would have toasted about ninety percent of my whole story line. And I hadn't noticed it, for months. Truly frightening.