Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/19

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CHAPTER I

THE PLOT

 If you want to write a short story, and doubt if you have anything worth the telling, go to bed early some night, get up with the sun the next morning, and take a long walk. Now, with the smell of nature in your nostrils, let your imagination run “as wild as a spook on a spree.” Suppose that cloud up there were an air-ship, with a kidnapper aboard, and suppose the boy who had been stolen were the king of Spain. Can't you work out the details of what might happen? Or suppose that girl over there should come to you, silently and mysteriously, and place a roll of greenbacks in your hand, with the words, “To pay for your burial.” How would it end? Or suppose you stumbled over that bush there and dropped into a deep hole, where you lay,