I developed an ear for quality quotes back when I was a field editor for an agricultural newspaper. Often the catchiest phrase was spoken at the very end of the interview. I concluded that a comfort level had been achieved at the interview’s close, and people could finally just be themselves. Experience taught me to keep my eyes and ears sharp until the final goodbye.
This is a habit that’s still with me while reading fiction. Sometimes a nugget of wisdom will just jump off the page. I savor these words. I am so impressed when an author gives their characters great quotes to share.
As I wrap up each book, I plan to highlight my favorite quality quote. Since I’ve just finished The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers, my selection is found towards the end. The main character Roman and Pastor Brian are talking. The topic they’re discussing is keeping your wits about you and listening for God’s voice. Brain says, “You’ll know where you’ve gone wrong and how to get right with God. You follow His lead. Your life begins to change from the inside out.”
Roman seems to think Brian has it all together. But Brian responds, “Hardly…Pastors tend to be targets for the enemy. Destroy a shepherd, and a whole flock can be lost.” Word choice is an essential element in good writing and this passage is stellar.