by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Writing”

A Quote I Really Need To Remember For Lectures

Posted 17 December 2008 in by Catriona

Yes, it does seem as though I’m using my blog as a giant, electronic Post-it note, but it’s an interesting quote, either way.

Reginald Hill’s version of the “so what?” test:

During her previous existence as a lecturer, a colleague who ran a Creative Writing course had moaned to her that he spent far too much time dealing with the hang-ups of students who clearly regarded narrative fiction as a branch of therapy rather than a branch of art. Now she knew what he meant. Therapy you kept to yourself. Art took you, trembling, in front of the footlights.

She brought this perspective to bear on her rejected third novel. Suddenly she found herself asking paragraph by paragraph the two essential questions: Is this really so important to me I’ve got to say it? Is this potentially so interesting to readers, they’ll have to read it?

From Reginald Hill’s Arms and the Women, 2000. HarperCollins paperback, 2001. 65.

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