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Reading People (and Writing Them, Too)

Dig Up Humanity in the Details

Lancelot Schaubert

Well, the world outside my window is shaming me again/from the things I haven’t seen cause I’ve been writing about them. That lyric from the song “Perimeter of Me” by Dividing the Plunder haunts me even now because the line often describes me. You, too, if I’m putting money down.

Let me explain. I sent the most recent novel I wrote to an agent I respect for critique. This agent went above and beyond the call of duty, kindly offering five single-spaced pages of notes and paving me a path to publication. The most troubling of the notes nailed something I’ve struggled with for some time: One said, “The dialogue is often meted out in abstractions,” and another ...

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