I Think It’s an Important Message

Near evening, the author has just finished and printed his first novel. It is about a white football coach in a black part of San Antonio. The author’s father is preparing for trial, so they are sharing the office.

“Dad, can you read the trial scene for me? I want to make sure it is realistic.”


His father takes ten minutes to read it.

“It’s very good.”

“Did I get it right?”

“The cross examinations are all very real. The only part that really isn’t is the jury statement. The jury just says guilty or not guilty. They do not say that they think there is no such thing as temporary insanity.”

“Oh. I don’t think there is, though. It was a gang shooting not temporary insanity.”

“It’s your story. You can keep it that way if you want.”

“I think it’s an important message.”

“Ok. What is the plan for your book now?”

“I’m going to submit it to publishers. Do you think it is good?”

“It seems better than a lot of stories out there. You never know.”

It will be seven years before he has a teacher who is not overly impressed by his persistence, who will tell him, “Show, don’t tell. And respect your audience’s intelligence—they don’t need your morals rammed down their throats.”

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