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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.
Instead of saying: "He was presented with a watch and chain," say a watch and chain were presented to him."
If President Wilson himself had written the announcement made at the White House that a report about the marriage of his daughter was "an unwarranted falsehood," he doubtless would have left out the word 66 unwarranted."
"Dived," not "dove," is the preterite of "dive."
A flag displayed on board a ship may be shown at half-mast, but on shore "halfstaff" is the proper phrase.
You can ask a question, or you can ask for something, but the headline, "Asks $2,000 a month," is wrong.
Californians object strenuously to the abbreviation "Frisco " for "San Francisco," and considering that San Francisco is
surely in bad taste.
The plural of "turkey" is "turkeys," not turkies," and the plural of chimney" is "chimneys," not "chimnies."
"Inaugurate" is not properly used with the meaning "to celebrate the completion of, or the first public use of; to dedicate, as a statue, or the Peace Palace at The Hague."
Any one has a right to object to the sign, "Go slow," who would call out when in sudden danger and in need of help: "Come quickly!"
"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day" should be "Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day." Nobody would say: "Yesterday is Christmas." "Authoress" and 'poetess should be used for "author" and "poet " only when absolutely necessary and that will be very Edward B. Hughes.
STORIES THAT ARE NOT STORIES.
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 woman who rescues him. That is an appealing and measurably dramatic situation though no longer a new one.
But it is not plot.
In the same home there is a baby girl. The two children grow up together, and ultimately wed.
This is a logical sequence to the original situation. It is narrative, but it is not story or the kind of plot required for story.
A plain narrative of growing up and marrying is not plot, just as the narrative of a picnic without rain is not plot. Plot demands the element of doubt, of suspense. To create this feeling of doubt or suspense, there must be obstacles rendering the object which the reader wishes to see accomplished to all appearances impossible of accomplish
Take the original situation of the "waif of the waters." Study that situation, and develop, with it as a beginning and the marriage of the boy and girl as the desired culmination, certain obstacles and complications that render the outcome doubtful.
For instance, the two grow up believing themselves to be brother and sister. This belief creates a primary obstacle.
The boy, not yet a man, runs away from his foster home. Here is a still further obstacle to their ultimate union. He meets adventures and forms connections which render the desired outcome of the story still more unlikely.
He meets a girl with whom he falls in love. Here again enters the element of doubt. There is a rival for this girl's affections more suspense and uncertainty. The girl favors the rival - still further uncertainty. She marries the rival. Your readers wonder what will happen next.
What happens next is that the girl's husband runs away with her money and another man's wife, leaving her bereft in a double sense. The young man befriends her. Then the faithless husband is killed trying to climb Mount McKinley. An obstacle is apparently removed when
The young man discovers that the sorrowing widow who is now ready enough to wed
If so, take that basic situation or idea, and, instead of stringing words after words in aimless narrative, sit down in some sequestered, quiet spot-on top of an oil derrick or in the lowest shaft of a coal mine, or in the depths of the primeval forest, or in the heart of a big city — and by dint of thinking, thinking, persistently thinking, develop that original idea until it is rich in complications, in turns and twists, in surprises and variations in short, till it grows up into a fullformed plot.
Then hang your most attractive story clothes upon it, and send it out. Perhaps you will score a hit where hitherto you have persistently and, to you, inexplicablymissed the bull's-eye.
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P. O. Box 1905.
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 hundredseven 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 on some ostrich farm where such things are not recognized?
"If so, let me tell him that it has become the ordinary practice for some authors, and especially for popular novelists, directly or 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 are 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 agree 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 fact perfectly well known to my publishers. in England and America that throughout the whole period of 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
C. W. Ernst, of Boston, who is authority on words, gives some interesting facts about church names. He says:
"In discussing church names it is safe to start with the facts of history. The word 'catholic' was first applied to the church by Ignatius, who wrote Greek; the first example in Latin is in the famous Muratori fragment. The term Catholic Church' cannot be found before the second century.
"The term 'Anglican Church' was first used in Latin by John of Salisbury, about A. D ̊ 1159.
"The term 'Church of England' was introduced by Henry VIII, in 1534.
"The word 'Episcopalian' was coined in 1600 by Increase Mather, laughing at the members of King's Chapel, Boston, Mass. "The term Protestant Episcopal' originated in Maryland in 1780.
"The word 'Protestant' in church history has not been found before the year 1539."
Epigrammatically criticising those who produce literature for revenue only, the late Mayor Gaynor is credited with saying that a certain novelist's career could be summed up thus:
"How did he commence writing?"
careful not to leave it on the centre table, where it might be picked up by "fourteenyear-olds."
THE HAPPY ENDING.
I think that Ford Walsh in his article printed in the June WRITER confuses "The Happy Ending" with the inartistic ending for an unhappy ending is often quite as inartistic as a happy one. The ending of "The Iron Woman," for instance, is to my mind very inartistic. It is dramatic, but not final. Mr. Walsh should have quoted more examples to show just what he meant. The examples he did quote do not prove his contention. Neither do I agree with him that "if we think so much of beauty, we should ask for more unhappy endings where in the nature of the theme they are essentials." So long as we live there is always hope of happiness, and just as in our lives we go on day by day hoping we shall at last come to happiness, so we read page after page hoping to see the hero and heroine reach a place where we can leave them with some satisfaction. When we ve are overcome with the inexorableness of Fate, as in "Tess"- we accept it, but we do not "like it," or ask for it. To show how the same author can use unhappy endings in both ways, compare "Tess" and "The Return of the Native." The ending of "Tess," in my opinion, is artistic, while in "The Return of the Native" the unhappy ending is inartistic, not to say grotesque and ridiculous. Annie Bigoney Stewart. SEATTLE, Wash.
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
WRITERS OF THE DAY.
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 graduation from the University of Texas, through which he had paid his way by schoolteaching, he saw a pedagogue's position right ahead staring him in the face. He rushed to the Dallas News for help, and after a year there went to New York, where he spent five years doing all kinds of reporting for the New York Times, and where he now lives. He has had stories in Scribner's, Collier's, Short Stories, the Smart Set, and several other magazines. A dramatized version of his short story, “Daughters of Joy," is scheduled for presentation at the Princess Theatre, New York, during the coming sea
V. H. Cornell, who wrote "The Geniuses," in Harper's Magazine for June, and also the leading story, "The Tie That Binds," in the American Magazine for June, is the wife of Dr. Robert R. Cornell, a physician of Chattanooga, Tenn., and is the mother of five children. Her first magazine story was printed in Belford's Magazine twenty years ago. Belford's never paid for it, and the magazine died soon afterward. Mrs. Cornell was born in Virginia, and spent her childhood near Chautauqua, N. Y., later going to school just outside of Boston. After her marriage she lived for twelve years in the Cumberland Mountains, and she knows the people of that region as people, not as types. Naturally the mountain folk in her stories are unlike those characterized by casual observers. "The Narrow Way," soon to appear in Harper's, is a fair sample of her stories of mountain life. Mrs. Cornell has had two experiences illustrating the way of editors. "The Tie That Binds" was sent to Collier's three years ago. It made such an impression that the editor wrote he had passed it around among the members of the staff, who were all delighted with it, but he could n't take it. After three years and a little furbishing, it was accepted by the American. "The Geniuses" was sent to the Delineator a year ago. The editor could n't use it; but he liked it so much that he took it over to
Everybody's Magazine - perhaps they might print it. Everybody's editor could n't use it, either, but later it quite suited Mr. Alden of Harper's Magazine. And all this was because the editors were interested in the stories - not the author, who was unknown to them.
Elias Lieberman, whose story, "The Open Door," was printed in Lippincott's for September, is an instructor in English at the Bushwick High School, Brooklyn, N. Y. His poems have appeared in the New York Times, Munsey's, the Bohemian, and Youth, and he has had short sketches in prose used by the Associated Sunday Magazines, Satire, and the New York Sun. The McClure Syndicate has also published one of his short stories. His work as a teacher necessarily takes up much of his time and energy, but ever since his apprenticeship on the staff of the DeWitt Clinton High School Bulletin, the City College Mercury, and Quips and Cranks, he has been devoted to his literary work. His critical study of the short story in America, grouped according to localities, was published by the Editor Publishing Company, of Ridgewood, N. J., under the title, "The American Short Story." Mr. Lieberman has just returned from a honeymoon trip through Italy, Switzerland, France, and England, and as soon as he is settled down again he hopes to do much work.
Gerald Morgan, whose short story, "Back of Third Base," appeared in the initial number of Harper's Weekly under Mr. Hapgood's management, (August 16) is a graduate of Yale, class of 1901, and was a correspondent for the New York Tribune during the Russo-Japanese War. He has also been a contributor of fiction to Collier's Weekly and other magazines. Mr. Morgan resides at Staatsburg, Dutchess County, N Y., where he is active in one of the political party organizations.
Helen Van Campen, whose story, "Pansy Ziliphone's Party," was published in the