Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/45

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The Introduction
39
 

had been lovers.” Now, above all else, a short story should possess unity. With this quality of paramount importance, any retrospection is apt to mar the artistic handling. But even this objection may be overcome by the use of suggestive conversation that gives the reader enough of a clue to enable him to understand the situation.

Remember, then, that readers are a busy people, who would have their stories served in condensed pellets if they could, and that to win their approbation you must begin well along in your tale, where enough complications are to be found to catch the interest. In writing, as nowhere else, can be seen the truth of the trite old proverb, “Well begun is half done.”