Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/152

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sults. One man may prefer to carry the rough outline of the plot in his head; another can do nothing without an elaborate scenario; a third prefers a diagram, with lines crossing and intercrossing, to show the points at which the lives of the different characters intersect. Nothing would be more helpful than a collection of confessions from our leading novelists as to just how their plots were built up, step by step. Here, for instance, is a curious sidelight from Henry James's preface to The Awkward Age, that has already given several suggestive illustrations to these articles:

I remember that in sketching my project (The Awkward Age) I drew on a sheet of paper … the neat figure of a circle consisting of a number of small rounds disposed at equal distances about a central object. The central object was my situation, to which the thing would owe its title, and the small rounds represented so many distinct lamps, as I liked to call them,