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cause it has been used by good English the name of a saint the abbreviation is writers, for instance, De Quincey.
surely in bad taste. It is better, perhaps, to say: “He is ill’ “ Per diem” and “per annum are good than “He is sick," but the phrase "a Latin phrases, but plain English "a day"
a dangerously ill man” is priggish.
and “a year'
are generally better, while “ Soubriquet is a misspelling for “so- hybrid phrases like “per day," "per briquet" and "boquet" is a misspelling for month," "per week,” “per year" should "bouquet."
always be avoided. Instead of saying : “He was presented The plural of “turkey” is turkeys," not with a watch and chain," say a watch and "turkies," and the plural of “chimney” is chain were presented to him."
chimneys," not "chimnies.” If President Wilson himself had written “ Inaugurate" is not properly used with the announcement made at the White House the meaning "to celebrate the completion of, that a report about the marriage of his or the first public use of; to dedicate, as a daughter was “an unwarranted falsehood," statue, or the Peace Palace at The Hague.” he doubtless would have left out the word Any one has a right to object to the sign, “unwarranted."
“Go slow," who would call out when in sud“ Dived,” not “dove," is the preterite of den danger and in need of help : Come “ dive."
quickly!" A flag displayed on board a ship may be “ Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day" shown at half-mast, but on shore “hali- should be “Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving staff” is the proper phrase.
Day." Nobody would say : “ Yesterday is You can ask a question, or you can ask Christmas." for something, but the headline, “Asks “ Authoress" and
should be $2,000 a month," is wrong.
used for "author” and “poet” only when Californians object strenuously to the absolutely necessary - and that will be very abbreviation “' Frisco” for “San Fran- seldom.
Edward B. Hughes. cisco," and considering that San Francisco is CAXBRIDGE, Mass.
STORIES THAT ARE NOT STORIES.
“The style is clean-cut and pleasing, the treatment of scenes and characters is natural and convincing, the manuscript is neatly prepared, spelling and punctuation are excellent, all the details necessary to make a salable story are present — except one."
“ And that missing detail- - what is it?" “ The story itself.”
Has the foregoing significant dialogue ever been handed out to you by critic, editor, or your own suddenly-awakened perception ? The occasion for such warning and advice is frequent, in any event. An editorial friend informs me that the mails are overloaded at all times with such un
available material — stories that comply with all the minor requirements, and yet are sadly lacking in the main essential – stories, in short, that are not stories.
Many story-writers err at the very beginning in mistaking situation for plot. A bright idea occurs, a dramatic situation is evolved. The writer exclaims : “This will make a splendid story!”
More than a mere dramatic situation or a single appealing idea is required, however, to make the sort of story that will be read through by the editor, let alone found purchasable by him.
For instance, a baby, carried down river
in his cradle in a flood, is adopted by a him is the girl who grew up side by side woman who rescues him. That is an appeal- with him, and whom he believes to be his ing and measurably dramatic situation sister. Thus springs up a new obstacle – though no longer a new one.
yet paving the way for the first desired outBut it is not plot.
come when this last obstacle is removed by In the same home there is a baby girl. the disclosure of the truth - that the young The two children grow up together, and man is, not the woman's brother, but merely ultimately wed.
a foster-brother. This is a logical sequence to the original This — the element of suspense, doubt, situation. It is narrative, but it is not story complication, maintained till the climactic or the kind of plot required for story. moment - makes plot. The plot here
A plain narrative of growing up and mar- given as an illustration is n't by any mean's rying is not plot, just as the narrative of a a gem of purest ray serene. It was very picnic without rain is not plot. Plot hurriedly developed and represents an indemands the element of doubt, of suspense. complete story framework, which needs To create this feeling of doubt or suspense, much filling in and rounding out. But it there must be obstacles rendering the object illustrates the process by which a mere sitwhich the reader wishes to see accomplished uation can be “thought out " into a partly to all appearances impossible of accomplish- developed or fully developed story plot. ment.
Have your stories been coming back with Take the original situation of the waif a too notable frequency ? Do you believe of the waters." Study that situation, and de- - are you satisfied that they are unchalvelop, with it as a beginning and the mar- lengeable in point of style, logical, appealriage of the boy and girl as the desired cul- ing in subject, perfect in all minor details? mination, certain obstacles and complications
wondering wherein the trouble that render the outcome doubtful.
lies? For instance, the two grow up believing Study the story carefully. Analyze the themselves to be brother and sister. This plot as it stands. Perhaps you will discover belief creates a primary obstacle.
that you have been attempting to create a The boy, not yet a man, runs away from story o!it of a mere situation, an undehis foster home. Here is a still further veloped idea, bare even to nakedness of the obstacle to their ultimate union. He meets complications which create suspense and inadventures and forms connections which ren- terest. der the desired outcome of the story still If so, take that basic situation or idea, and, more unlikely.
instead of stringing words after words in He meets a girl with whom he falls in love. aimless narrative, sit down in some sequesHere again enters the element of doubt. tered, quiet spot - on top of an oil derrick There is a rival for this girl's affections – or in the lowest shaft of a coal mine, or in inore suspense and uncertainty. The girl the depths of the primeval forest, or in the favors the rival – still further uncertainty. heart of a big city — and by dint of thinking, She marries the rival. Your readers wonder thinking, persistently thinking, develop that what will happen next.
original idea until it is rich in complications, What happens next is that the girl's hus- in turns and twists, in surprises and variaband runs away with her money and another tions — in short, till it grows up into a fullman's wife, leaving her bereft in a double
formed plot. sense. The young man befriends her. Then
Then hang your most attractive story the faithless husband is killed trying to climb clothes upon it, and send it out. Perhaps Mount McKinley. An obstacle is ap- you will score a hit where hitherto you have parently removed when
persistently — and, to you, inexplicably – The young man discovers that the sorrow- missed the bull's-eye. ing widow who is now ready enough to wed CHATHAM, Ont. William Edward Park.
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having described booksellers as the only retail tradesmen who buy “pigs in pokes," John Murray, the publisher, wrote to the Westminster Gazette to say : —
“I wonder if Mr. Hall Caine has ever heard of a publisher being asked to lay out hundreds even thousands — of pounds on books which he has not only not seen, but which in some cases have not even been written, or has he been spending his days.
some ostrich farm where such things are recognized ?
" If so, let me tell him that it has become the ordinary practice for some authors, and especially for popular novelists, directly through their agents, to arrange terms for their next book, sometimes even for their second and third books, on precisely such 'pig-in-a-poke' terms. There even cases where competitive offers for futures' of this kind are sought. Frequently the actual royalties earned on such books never reach the prospective sum asked and given. I
that the system is a bad one."
To this Mr. Caine replied, saying that the difference between the position of the publisher who buys books from authors, unread and unwritten, and that of the bookseller who buys his books from the publishers, unread and unseen, is fundamental namely, the bookseller has no choice, while the publisher is a free agent. When a publisher, on his own initiative, buys a book before it is written,” says Mr. Caine," he has only himself to blame if he suffers for taking such a risk ; but the bookseller who would decline to buy any book which he had not read might as well put up his shutters." Then he adds, referring to Mr. Murray's remarks about manuscripts bought by publishers “unread, unseen
" It is a iact perfectly well known to my publishers. in England and America that throughout the whole period oi my more than thirty years of authorship I have never once accepted a contract from any publisher until he has first read and known all about the book he has bought.
* This course I adhered to so rigidly in the case of a book now in the press that I printed a private edition of it at my own cost, solely for the use of the various publishers, at home and abroad, who were good enough to wish to contract with me on the unwise terms which Mr. Murray deplores and perhaps practices, and it was not until I had received their assurance that they had read enough to know what they were buying that I agreed to sell."
It has been announced, by the way, that William Randolph Hearst has made a contract with Hall Caine at $100,000 a year for
during which time,” says the announcement, “the novelist will probably produce two books a year.”
careful not to leave it on the centre table, where it might be picked up by “fourteenyear-olds."
C. W. Ernst, of Boston, who is
THE HAPPY ENDING. authority on words, gives some interesting facts about church names. He says :
I think that Ford Walsh in his article “In discussing church names it is safe to printed in the June WRITER confuses “ The start with the facts of history. The word Happy Ending ” with the inartistic ending – * catholic' was first applied to the church by for an unhappy ending is often quite as inIgnatius, who wrote Greek ; the first example artistic as a happy one. The ending of “ The in Latii: is in the famous Muratori fragment.
Iron Woman," for instance, is to my mind The term Catholic Church' cannot be found very inartistic. It is dramatic, but not final. before the second century.
Mr. Walsh should have quoted more "The term “Anglican Church' was first amples to show just what he meant. The used in Latin by John of Salisbury, about examples he did quote do not prove his conA. D'I 1159.
tention. Neither do I agree with him that "The term “Church of England' was in-,
if we think so much of beauty, we should troduced by Henry VIII, in 1534.
ask for more unhappy endings where in the “ The word 'Episcopalian’ was coined in nature of the theme they are essentials.” So 1600 by Increase Mather, laughing at the long as we live there is always hope of hapmembers of King's Chapel, Boston, Mass. piness, and just as in our lives we go on day
“The term · Protestant Episcopal' origi- by day hoping we shall at last come to hapnated in Maryland in 1780.
piness, so we read page after page hoping to “ The word 'Protestant' in church his- see the hero and heroine reach a place where tory has not been found before the year we can leave them with some satisfaction.
When we are overcome with the inexorableness of Fate, as in “ Tess ” — we accept it,
but we do not " like it,” or ask for it. To Epigrammatically criticising those who
show how the same author can use unhappy produce literature for revenue only, the late
endings in both ways, compare “ Tess " and Mayor Gaynor is credited with saying that
“ The Return of the Native.” The ending a certain novelist's career could be summed
of “Tess,” in my opinion, is artistic, while up thus :
in “ The Return of the Native " the unhappy " How did he commence writing ? "
ending is inartistic, not to say grotesque and “ With a wealth of thought."
Amie Bigoney Stezart. " And how has he continued ?"
Seattle, Wash. “ With a thought of wealth."
WRITERS OF THE DAY.
An editorial in Harper's Weekly, now controlled by Norman Hapgood, announces that the paper will be edited hereafter without consideration of "the immature mind," and that while nothing will be published “that is not entirely moral, a great deal will be published that is extremely frank." Under this policy Harper's Weekly will no longer be a family paper, according to the old American idea, and the “intelligent adults" for whom it is to be written will have to be
Barry Benefield, the author of the short story, " Anna Lipinsky's Star Flag," in the September Scribner's, and of What Do You Think?" in the Smart Set for the same month, says he went into the newspaper business to escape school-teaching, then into magazine work to escape reporting. He comes from Texas — the northeast corner of it, where there are no prairies, no bad, bad
cowboys, and no booful cowgirls." Upon Everybody's Magazine - perhaps they might graduation from the University of Texas, print it. Everybody's editor could n't use it, through which he had paid his way by school- either, but later it quite suited Mr. Alden of teaching, he saw a pedagogue's position Harper's Magazine. And all this was beright ahead staring him in the face. He cause the editors were interested in the rushed to the Dallas News for help, and stories — not the author, who after a year there went to New York, where known to them. he spent five years doing all kinds of reporting for the New York Times, and where he Elias Lieberman, whose story, “The Open now lives. He has had stories in Scribner's, Door," was printed in Lippincott's for SepCollier's, Short Stories, the Smart Set, and tember, is an instructor in English at the several other magazines. A dramatized ver- Bushwick High School, Brooklyn, N. Y. sion of his short story, “ Daughters of Joy," His poems have appeared in the New York is scheduled for presentation at the Princess Times, Munsey's, the Bohemian, and Youth, Theatre, New York, during the coming sea- and he has had short sketches in prose used
by the Associated Sunday Magazines, Satire,
and the New York Sun. The McClure SynV. H. Cornell, who wrote “The Gen- dicate has also published one of his short iuses," in Harper's Magazine for June, and stories. His work as a teacher necessarily also the leading story, “The Tie That
takes up much of his time and energy, but Binds," in the American Magazine for June,
ever since his apprenticeship on the staff of is the wife of Dr. Robert R. Cornell, a phy- the DeWitt Clinton High School Bulletin, sician of Chattanooga, Tenn., and is the the City College Mercury, and Quips and mother of five children. Her first magazine Cranks, he has been devoted to his literary story was printed in Belford's Magazine
work. His critical study of the short story twenty years ago. Belford's never paid for
in America, grouped according to localities, it, and the magazine died soon afterward.
was published by the Editor Publishing Mrs. Cornell born in Virginia, and
Company, of Ridgewood, N. J., under the spent her childhood near Chautauqua, N.
title, “ The American Short Story.” Mr. Y., later going to school just outside of
Lieberman has just returned from a honeyBoston. After her marriage she lived
trip through Italy, Switzerland, for twelve years in the Cumberland Moun
France, and England, and as soon as he is tains, and she knows the people of that
settled down again he hopes to do much region as people, not as types. Naturally
work. the mountain folk in her stories are unlike those characterized by casual observers. Gerald Morgan, whose short story, “ Back “The Narrow Way,” soon to appear in of Third Base," appeared in the initial numHarper's, is a fair sample of her stories of ber of Harper's Weekly under Mr. Hapmountain life. Mrs. Cornell has had two good's management, ( August 16 ) is a gradexperiences illustrating the way of editors. uate of Yale, class of 1901, and was a cor“ The Tie That Binds” was sent to Collier's respondent for the New York Tribune durthree years ago. It made such an impres- ing the Russo-Japanese War. He has also sion that the editor wrote he had passed it been a contributor of fiction to Collier's around among the members of the staff, who Weekly and other magazines. Mr. Morgan were all delighted with it, but he could n't resides at Staatsburg, Dutchess County, N, take it. After three years and a little furbish. Y., where he is active in one of the political ing, it was accepted by the American. “The party organizations. Geniuses was sent to the Delineator a year ago. The editor could n't use it ; but he Helen Van Campen, whose story, Pansy liked it so much that he took it over to Ziliphone's Party,” was published in the