Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/156

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THE TECHNIQUE OF FORM

the red spot at the corner of the lips. Of those pallid, impersonal ghosts, one took shape in my book, as if in spite of me, with the melancholy curriculum of the watering place and its lovely pastoral surroundings, and it has all remained there.

It is somewhat difficult to give general advice regarding the best way to study the technique of form in fiction. The method of diagramming is certainly full of suggestive surprises. I have myself gained some rather happy results in the way of discovering, where one of my lines trailed off into space like a lost comet, that the particular character which that line represented had little or no structural importance in the story. But to a good many writers the diagram method would be of infinitely more trouble than help. To them I would give the more general advice, to try and think of their art in terms of painting; to think of the story they have to tell as being

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