And I feared when an agent would read my query, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of four horsemen saying, “Come, study writing.” And I beheld a white horse: and he that sat on him embraced the elementary rules of usage and the elementary principles of composition. And the white horse went forth carrying these Elements of Style and his name was Strunk and White. And it was good.
And I feared when an editor would read my synopsis, and I heard the second horseman whisper, “Come, read many books and learn.” And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to read, and also to share and preserve knowledge. And there was given unto him a precious card to carry, and the horse was called Library, and it was good.
And I feared when an editor would read my manuscript, and I listened when the third horseman said, “Come, learn of story-telling, the call to adventure, and the refusal. Learn of fulfilled quests.” And I beheld a black horse; and he that sat on him studied The Hero’s Journey, and it was by Joseph Campbell. And it was good.
And I feared to set aside old works, to start a new manuscript, and I heard a voice in the midst of the four horsemen say, “Seek The Fire in Fiction and you shall infuse your writing with life, and it shall never pale.” And when I sought the fire upon this pale horse and received a publishing contract, I recalled the voice, and it was Donald Maass. And it was very good.