Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/79

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The Placing of the Story

high schools and colleges write fiction which is praised by classmates and teachers, and which may really be good from an artistic standpoint, but which is entirely out of line with the needs of any magazine. I have seen stories that were offered to such publications as The Youth’s Companion and St. Nicholas, in which the boys played pranks that would shock the good mothers and fathers of proper children. These stories were about boys, however, and for this reason their writers imagined them fitted for the publications to which they were sent. They had absolutely no chance of acceptance, and a study of the magazines would have shown the folly of submitting such manuscripts.

Not only must you know the market but you must know your own work. You must be able to distinguish between a story adapted to Harper’s and The Century, and one that is fit only for the newspapers and syndicates. You must judge your own work honestly and without prejudice.

A story fresh from your brain will