This is a part of a seven part Q&A with Eric Witchey, interviewed by M.K. Martin. To see the introduction to this craft talk series click here. To read Part 2 click here.
M.K. Martin: What is your favorite scene that you wrote and why?
Eric Witchey: Wow… I have no idea. Of the many thousands of scenes I have written and published or thrown away, a favorite is hard to pick. One that comes to mind right now is from the book that just came out, Littlest Death. In that scene, an inexperienced, young grim reaper is trying to poach a child’s soul from the reaper who is supposed to pick up that soul. She almost gets away with it, but she ends up encountering the other reaper and having to deal with both the child’s soul and the local (Hindu) reaper.

“Fiction Fluency – Short Story Workshop” Wordcrafters, 2017

I suppose that’s my current favorite because it is a moment in which all the characters are functioning according to their needs in a way that forces the struggling POV character to challenge her own beliefs about what is important about living and dying. In a technical sense, it is the moment in the story that leads to the main character’s eventual full realization of her potential. The scene pleased me because it hinged on the thematic elements of free will manifested in the opposition of the ideas of urgency and quantity against compassion and quality. The characters embodied the concepts and played out their immediate agendas to a conclusion that left me feeling happy as a writer. Of course, those are all writer reasons for liking the scene. I can’t speak to any individual reader’s experience. The people who have written to me or told me about their experience and the tears they shed while reading the story have not commented about that scene at all. That might even be the best compliment I could get because that scene must be where it is for the emotional resonance to build to a point where the tears of joy are possible later. I should neither cause nor expect the reader to be aware of that. My job is to affect the reader’s emotions rather than cause them to understand how I did it.

About Eric Witchey: Eric Witchey is known for teaching clear, useful skills that allow students to create salable fiction. His classes draw from his experience teaching at two universities, a community college, countless conferences, and in many corporate and private settings. He has sold work in ten genres with over 140 short stories and six novels in national and international markets. His work has been honored by Writers of the Future, New Century Writers, Writers Digest, Short Story America, the Eric Hoffer Award Program, the Irish Aeon Awards, among others.
His articles have appeared in The Writer’s Magazine, Writer’s Digest, and other online and print magazines. Visit Eric Witchey online at

About M.K. Martin: M. K. Martin is a motorcycle-riding, linguistics nerd. A former Army interrogator with a degree in psychology, she uses her unique knowledge and skill set to create smart, gritty stories that give readers a glimpse into the darker corners of the human mind. Find out more at