Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/25

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The Plot

chance, is impossible. Then he leans back, presumably elated over his skill, and for the first time conceives some method by which the characters may once more acquire liberty and the privilege of more adventures.

In this method lies another plot producer. Outline, in your mind, some situation, improbable, inconsistent, inexplicable. Then fit in the characters and incidents necessary to make it altogether probable, consistent, explainable. Have the country lass, whom the hero loves devoutly, discover him in her father's chicken-coop with a fat pullet under his arm. There's material for a little love comedy. Or have the tourist, begging a drink at the hermit's hut, suddenly cringe at his feet. There's material for a melodramatic tale. Or have a page from a diary, telling of a man's undying passion for a woman, flutter to her feet in some deserted place, preferably from a balloon, an air-ship, an exploding shell far overhead, or what you will. There's material for an unique love story.