Originally posted August 5, 2011

Last night at writers group was eventful. It started with Dusty, one of our group leaders, giving us a quote to ponder. He said it was the best advice he ever heard, and it was written by a man Dusty says is a fiction genius: the late Dwight Swain.

“A story is not about anything. It concerns someone’s emotions to what happened, his feelings, his emotions, his impulses, his ambitions, his clashing drive, and inner conflicts.”

Dusty explained that if we don’t try to market our book as a story about a person or people, then all the editor will see is ink on a page. And I have to agree. Even plot driven fiction is about people. We don’t really care about the story unless we care about the people in the story.

It’s something to keep in mind when writing, editing, and drafting those darn query letters.


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