Won’t take advice? Good luck.

Check out my blog on this subject over at Murderati.com.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been missing in blog action for a few weeks. But I hope to get back to posting entries soon!

7 replies
  1. Abe
    Abe says:

    Hi Tess,

    Great insight on your part, but the way you describe the storyline of that woman reminds me of something that I would watch on a soap opera. Man finds woman, man loses woman, man finds woman again, man marries woman. Tess, not only will I not want to read a book like that, I won’t even watch something so trivial on tv. This woman will find out that with a devil may care attitude, she will not get any positive feedback from publishers and God knows what will become of her. Your advice to her was insightful and to the point. She dismissed you as a know-it-all. She’ll get the hint when she’ll be flipping burgers somewhere. On the other hand, the attorney found the gleam in your eye, and if you endorse his book, then it’s something that I might want to read. Advice is great Miss future fry cook. Get off your high horse and listen. You make just learn something.


  2. Tess
    Tess says:

    the story wasn’t even as exciting as you described it! Rather than “man meets woman, man loses woman, man finds woman again”, it was: “man and woman can’t decide whether to get married.” A novel about indecision!

  3. GerritsenFever10
    GerritsenFever10 says:

    Hey Dr. G,

    That was very interesting/hilarious/sad all rolled into one. I wonder what the other writer sitting there had to say/think about this woman’s feeble attempt at capturing an audience? And yeah, you’re right, conflict is pretty much essential in any novel unless it’s some drab non-fiction mess. Not to say all non-fiction is bad mind you. Well maybe after you talked to her she decided to go home and actually attempt to wake up. Who knows.

    Oh, and by the way, I’m glad you follow your own guidance as well as other’s; however, I do want to see another medical thriller! As much as I love me some Jane and Maura I still like those perplexing medical novels you write so well!

  4. therese
    therese says:

    I’ve heard many versions of this same story – it’s like a bad plot. Author has written the great novel, and her friends consider it genius, but all those people in the world of publishing, don’t get it, all they want is conflict – to know what the story is about – which is too hard to explain – because it’s – more than that…

    I’ve also heard it as the opening for speeches given by successful novelists, who’s first book lacked conflict, and they wondered – who wanted to read about conflict? Their journey of understanding story, and their career began.

    I’ve recently been faced with a new twist to this old plot, of what’s the story about, what’s the conflict. It’s acceptable to ask those questions in college writing classes. But I asked new taboo questions – who’s your audience? What audience are you targeting?

    This is worse than asking “what’s the story about? What’s the conflict?” Because bringing up the potential focus of reaching an audience is supposedly death to the creative process of writing. Hmmm….

  5. PCkelly
    PCkelly says:

    Yes, I have noticed but am a pretty patient sort. Heading for Murderati right now.

  6. PackingPadre
    PackingPadre says:


    I’m a procrastinating nonfiction writer as you know, but I would respect your learned opinion even though our writings are very different.

    Mind you, I love reading the fiction of my favourite authors, with you at the top of the list.

    But I’ve a house full of books and need to be selective. The book you described by the woman author doesn’t sound to be a good chick novel. I am not interested.

    To agree with my friend, Abe, if the lawyer gets his book published and you tell me it’s good, I’ll buy it and read it.

    See you next month, God willing and the body able.

    Padre Daniel

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