Dealing With Criticism

Dear M. Malaterre,



You addressed previously a serious problem in one of my novel’s chapters. I decided that the church should be across the street from the café because of the realistic location and convenience. This allows Estelle to simply walk across the street and into the confessional. Of course, during our conversation, you had suggested that I should use the church on St. Germain but Estelle would have had to take a cab and that would be detrimental to the dramatic effect.


I describe Estelle’s daily purchases and the beautiful stained glass windows in the church for aesthetic purposes. Estelle’s life is glamorous compared to Nicki’s shabby situation. The era of these important events was in 1968 and not 1972. This chapter, though isolated, is perhaps misleading. Kindly bear in mind that I’m not writing a tragedy. My novel is a dark comedy in the spirit of the films made by Rohmer and the novels of Francois Mauriac. In the beginning, I started my novel as a love story but then I developed a particular interest in the characters.


The hero of the story is constantly surrounded by beautiful women. I have written profoundly about these women’s motives toward the protagonist.


A-A Knopf sent my draft to an important reviewer of books named Armand Colin.He said that it was in poor taste for the protagonist to have four lovers but I disagree. The number of my hero’s lovers is completely irrelevant to the plot of my novel. I believe that my style and approach are correct and my argument wins.


In any case, I thank you for your correspondence and critique. Many thanks for your time and generosity. I will do my best to finish the job I have started.




A Novelist