Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/20

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How to Write a Short Story

far below the surface, listening to the drip! drip! of water near you. And suppose you became thirsty and crawled nearer for a drink, and instead of water found a stream of red blood gurgling among the rocks. Can't you make a story out of that?

All this smacks of the sensational, I grant, but I am going at this theme in a practical manner. I believe your first story will be sold because of its plot. Nine first stories out of ten are. The language is handled carelessly, the situations clumsily, and the development illogically. Yet the stories go right into the heart of things, and are different from those of the rank and file. So I say, if you want to get into print, your story must have a strong plot.

Write love stories. “All the world loves a lover,” and editors are human. But make your love story one of action. Don't, as many writers do, take a man and a woman and a dozen meetings and an engagement, and call it a story. Make it unique, make it worth while, make it different from the other love