Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/30

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How to Write a Short Story

put yourself in the middle of the stage, where you can see the full action and where you will be certain to indulge in bits of moralizing and criticising. In a short story, absolutely every paragraph, and even every sentence, should be an unfolding and a development of the plot. You must not preach nor teach in your story; not even hint at such things.

Secondly, don't tell your story by the use of letters or diaries. It is just as impossible to narrate a good story in this manner as it is for an old soldier who fought at Gettysburg to describe the charge up San Juan Hill. To be natural, you must bring in details foreign to your plot, and the story that is not sharply condensed is hopeless.

Thirdly, don't allow an animal or inanimate object to relate the story. The one argument against this course is that no magazine in the country will accept such a story.

Fourthly, don't attempt dialect stories. Although they were in vogue a few years ago, there is now no market at all for them.