Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/51

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The Story Proper

false, and are the result of the writer's idea that they make his story more presentable. The scene may be the same and no interruption to the action have taken place.

Young writers have a habit of using a series of stars or dashes to indicate the lapse of time in their stories. There is no reason for this, other than that the plot is wrongly constructed or that the writers err flatly. The craze for chapter divisions is a senseless one, and comes from a study of the novel.

Perhaps the most common error of the young writer is the unconscious padding by the use of remarks, comments, stray bits of information, or morals entirely foreign to the plot. The proper way to tell a short story is to draw a line from the striking introductory sentence straight to the climax, and never, by a hair's breadth, deviate from that line. Remarks and comments are for the editorial, information for the essay and scientific article, and morals for the religious article. A salable short story is nothing more nor less than a good plot