Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/52

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How to Write a Short Story

draped enough to soften the naked crudities without hiding the general beauty of form.

No two stories are alike in structure. For this reason, it is impossible to give specific advice as to the telling. But if you have something with a laugh, a tear, or a thrill, and go about presenting it in a straightforward, natural manner, without hurrying or lagging overmuch, you are pretty sure to produce a story that will sell.

It seems to be the fate of most writers to have a tendency either to take up a great deal too much time in telling their story, or to do it admirably nearly to the end and then seemingly to tire and hurry through to the climax. You will find, most likely, that in writing a story you have a habit of completing it in 1,000 words, or even less, or else taking five or six times that many. In either case, you can easily discover your weakness and strive to correct it.

After you have acquired a little ease in your composition, you will find that there are a dozen ways of telling the same