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How did they know?

by Terry Carroll

For writers, here's one of the more memorable lines from the movie Capote, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman:

"Plus, I finished my novel yesterday."

The line is spoken by Capote's friend, Jack.

My question is, "How did he know he was finished?"

Perhaps, back in the day, using a typewriter, a novelist would know. Now, on computer, we are all like Jack Kerouac, with his scroll of paper so he could keep on banging keys without changing sheets. We can write forever.

And, more importantly, endlessly revise.

Nowadays, the most a writer can say is, "I finished the first draft."

Somehow, it doesn't have the same cachet.

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