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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Thornton P. Knowles On Nit-Picking Fiction Editors

The first line of my short story, "The Murder of a Slob," reads: "If men could get pregnant, Matt would have been in his ninth month." I liked that opening line, but the magazine editor said it "offended her horribly." She said it made fun of pregnant women. I said, no, it made fun of Matt, the guy who gets murdered in my story. We argued about this, and because she was the editor and I was just the writer, I lost. That meant Matt wouldn't get murdered between the pages of her magazine. Two years later, the rag went out of business. Not because its readers didn't get the chance to read about the murder of a slob, but because it was a lousy magazine with a nit-picking editor who didn't know a good opening line when she saw one. Unfortunately, she wasn't the only editor who objected to that sentence. I still like it, though.

Thornton P. Knowles

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