Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/78

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How to Write a Short Story

has a personality. You must know the shades of difference that separate The Youth’s Companion and St. Nicholas; Harper’s, and The Smart Set; The Woman’s Home Companion and The Ladies’ Home Journal. When you begin to detect the points in which the editorial needs and whims differ, you are in a position to become acquainted with the literary market.

If you write stories, it is your business to make a systematic and thorough study of magazines that use short fiction. You must learn to note whether action, complications, character drawing, style, humor, or any one of a dozen other qualities is responsible for the acceptance and publication of every story you read. If you find stories that lack plot altogether, you must discover what feature takes its place. It is only in this way that you can become fully acquainted with the magazines.

Too many young writers consider the ease with which a story may be written, rather than its adaptability for any magazine. A great number of students in