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 3 click here
M.K. Martin: What’s your favorite scene someone else wrote and why?
Eric Witchey: Again, hard question. Too many scenes and not enough time. Several come back to me over and over. I loved the moment in Song of Solomon when Milkman flies. For me, it is emotionally and thematically the moment when the whole of the story comes to a powerful, emotional point. In Anna Karenina, Vronsky rides his horse into the ground.

Eric Witchey leads a band of fearless writers during Ghoststory Weekend Retreat 2017, hosted by Wordcrafters

That was such a pivotal moment for me in my experience of the whole of the story that I can’t forget it even thirty years after I read it. At that moment, I came to a full understanding of how the story would develop for Anna and Vronsky and how their story would play out as a contrast to the humble life represented by Levin. Another that comes to mind over and over is the moment in Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “The Circular Ruins” when the man in the ruins of the fire god is consumed by fire. I have many scenes from Ray Bradbury that come to mind. The flight of the witch in Something Wicked this Way Comes. Montag burning books in the opening of Fahrenheit 451. The Martian walking in from the wilds wearing the face of the farmers’ lost child. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by Fredrik Backman’s books. The moment at which Ove decides to fight the council on behalf of his community is a glorious moment in A Man Called Ove. So is the moment when the little girl realizes that the fantasy world her grandmother created for her was the real world her grandmother lived in. That’s my current favorite book, I suppose. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. Each scene has its own reasons for me to like it, but most of them are powerful to me because they are either the moment when I, as a reader, experienced the convergence of plot and theme or because the imagery supports the emotional presentation of character so well that I felt that fictional person deeply.

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