Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/80

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How to Write a Short Story

sound better than one that has been laid aside for a day or two. You will be able to pass upon its merits more impartially if you put it away until your enthusiasm cools. You will also find that it is good practice to read your stories aloud to some other person before you submit them to any magazine. The defects and crude portions will become discernible in a way they never would otherwise, particularly if your hearer is capable of criticising.

A good critic is of inestimable value. I would rather have an unbiased, honest opinion of my story, from some one who was capable of judging it, than all the praise in the world. As a matter of fact, the friends who laud your work usually do not appreciate either the defects or the merits. An unprejudiced criticism of your story will benefit you more than anything else in this matter of choosing a market.

The question of timeliness is one that should be studied. A story that fits the season has a much better chance of acceptance than one which may be used