some of the advice in this book directly conflicted with advice on one of the other books i read recently. the other book (Your First Novel) says that it is extremely important to read your fiction out loud to as many people as possible, especially writing groups; this book says that you should never, ever waste your time by reading your work out loud to anyone, and especially not to bother with getting critiques from writing groups. interesting. i'd have to say that, in general, the advice in Your First Novel sounded more helpful to me than the advice in this book did, but i can't throw this book aside, either, because the parts about conflict were so eye-opening (and maybe that's because, being weak in that area, i needed a Really Simple Walk-through of the topic!).
this all reminds me that, although there are some universal guidelines for writing fiction, there are also areas where individual preferences rule.