Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/125

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fixed idea that he is to be a dramatist and nothing else, or a lyric poet and nothing else, or an essay writer and nothing else—who is all the time trying to force his ideas into a shape for which they were not meant. If, for instance, a man cannot and will not write anything but a sonnet; if he is unable to think in any other terms than those of a sonnet, then whenever an idea comes to him that is not a sonnet idea, he must either reject it altogether or else produce a sonnet that had better not have been written. For these reasons it cannot be too forcibly urged upon young writers to keep their minds open by the practice of several different forms at once. You are sure to be eventually a better dramatist for having had some practice in narrative fiction; and you will probably write a better short story if you have occasionally done a little literary criticism. There is more common sense