Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/53

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The Story Proper
47
 

story, and that your way is apt to be the one that comes to you most easily.

Now, it may be worth while, financially, to try an experiment. After you have your plot well in mind, pick up some magazine and study the structure of its predominating stories. Then adapt your style to that of the magazine, and write your story with the idea that it must follow precisely the model you have chosen. It seems to me that in this way you have a story exactly fitted to a certain line of publications rather than one adapted, almost, to anything published.

You will find, however, that on at least one point all editors are agreed; that is, that conversation is always preferable to description. It is a good plan to go through a completed story and substitute the former for the latter wherever possible. I think I can offer no more forcible advice than that of the writer who said: “It is not necessary to say that a woman is a snarling, grumpy person. Bring in the old lady and let her snarl.”