Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/154

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THE TECHNIQUE OF FORM

the subject, would consult friends regarding their experiences, carefully noting down all the details and anecdotes they could give him. Then he would secure letters of introduction to leading members of the theatrical world, spending long hours in the Green Room and at rehearsals, saturating himself with the spirit and the atmosphere of the stage. And out of all this, the plot would little by little take form, almost unconsciously.

According to Zola, this method was by no means peculiar to himself, but was very much the method of Alphonse Daudet as well; and Daudet himself has told frankly of a certain little green notebook from whose pages came Numa Roumestan and certain other stories besides. But unlike Zola, Daudet admitted that he could not always control the details of his plots and that there were times when the

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