Johnny America


Fa­mous Writ­ers Get Workshopped


“Dear Bill, I was con­fused by Benjy’s char­ac­ter. I had the feel­ing that some­thing was wrong with him but couldn’t pin it down. Some back­ground in­for­ma­tion might have helped. I was of­ten lost in the nar­ra­tive. Take it easy on the italics.”

“Dear Cor­mac, a lit­tle punc­tu­a­tion goes a long way. Try us­ing com­mas and quo­ta­tion marks. I thought your vi­sion was a tad bleak. Can you light­en it up a little?”

“Dear Scott, I thought the char­ac­ter of Gats­by need­ed to be in­tro­duced ear­li­er in the nar­ra­tive. I don’t quite get a feel for him. For starters, what does he look like? Tom Buchanan’s char­ac­ter needs work.”

“Dear Pap­pa, I thought the rhythm of your sen­tences was repet­i­tive and mo­not­o­nous. Try vary­ing your sen­tence struc­ture and us­ing pe­ri­ods. Al­so, I thought your fe­male char­ac­ters lacked depth.”

“Dear Mark, you have a great ear for di­a­logue and ver­nac­u­lar. How­ev­er, I thought you were ex­ces­sive in your use of the N‑word. Fur­ther­more your por­tray­al of Jim was racist and stereotypical.”

“Dear Her­man, I thought the metaphor of the white whale was a bit ob­vi­ous, don’t you? The book was too long for my tastes. I’d trim it by a few hun­dred pages if I were you.”

“Dear TS, you lost me at The.”

Filed under Fiction on September 21st, 2009

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Reader Comments

Emily wrote:

Who’s “Pap­pa”?

J.J. wrote:

I’m 90% sure that’s Hemingway

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