What writers talk about

I had a lively discussion last night with my friends, Larry and Myra Karp. Larry writes mysteries and was trying to solve a plot problem with his latest manuscript, which Myra and I had read. Our talk involved several of the characters: who knew the doctor’s secret? How did she find out? Would someone withhold evidence from the police to protect her boss? Anyone eavesdropping would have thought we were gossiping about the neighbors.

We had a fine old time. After they left, with the plot problem solved, I realized we had spent over an hour discussing people who do not exist.

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