Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/40

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How to Write a Short Story

He scans the introductory paragraph, and if he finds that the writer plunges into his story at the very outset he is interested enough to skim over the entire first page. If nothing is found that condemns the story, the editor now turns to the last page and studies the conclusion. If he finds this weak, the story is returned without further reading; but if it ends with a quick, sharp turn, or in a manner that suggests rapid dramatic action somewhere earlier in the story, he dips into the middle and glances over the other pages; not systematically, but in a hop-skip-and-jump manner. Then, if the first promise is fulfilled, he leans back and reads the story clear through. If he does this, the chances are all in favor of an acceptance, though some detail may still warrant a rejection; or, possibly, the tenor of the story may not be in line with his publication.

From the foregoing it will be seen that if you expect even a careful examination of your story, you must interest the editor at once. You cannot do this with a long description. You