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Mendès, Catulle, 56
120, 136, 153, 166, 183
Pier, Florida, 40
Pigeon-Hole Snare, The, 12
Pitzer, R. C., 40
Play and the Novel Contrasted, The, 59
Play-writing, Zangwill, Mackaye, Fitch, Tarkington,
Walter, Klein, 2
Play-writing and Writing Novels, 127
Play-writing, Hints About, 124
Play-writing, Making a Scenario, 106
Play-writing, Profits of, 141
Playwrights, A Queer Competition for, 134
Playwrights, The Untried, 158
Plot, The Story of a, 61
Plot of a Sardou Play, The, 26
Poetic Diction and Prose, On, 140
Poetry, Clarity_in, 29
Poetry, Must True - Be Obscure ? 6
Poetry, The Possibilities of, 27
Poetry, What Is ? 44
Poet's Work, The, 126
Prices Paid for Manuscripts, 184
Profits of Writers, 59, 60, 124, 141
Pulitzer, Joseph, Editorials of, 172
Punctuation, Importance of, 6
Punctuation, Origin of, 30
Ramsdell, Leila R., The Significance of Books, 99
Reade, Charles, 167
Reid, Elizabeth, 153
Rewards of Authors, 59, 60, 88, 124, 141, 171, 182, 184
Ridsdale, Percival Sheldon, 53
Riley, James Whitcomb, 57
Roberts. Lloyd, 108
Rudyard, Charlotte Louise, 119
Sardou Play, Plot of a, 26
Sawyer, Walter Leon, 9
School for Novelists, A, Hope, 81
Sembower, Alta Brunt, 107
Shafter, Julia Lawrence, A Lapse of Mark Twain's,
Shall and Will, Use of, 139
Short-Story Contest, New York Herald, 116
Short Story, Selling the, Smith, 82
Short-Story Writer's Income, A, 88
Sienkiewicz, Henryk, 168
Smith, Effie, 10
Smith, Mark, Selling the Short Story, 82
Spelling, Simplified, 151
Stage Rights in Magazine Stories, 21
Standard Literary Phrases, 92
Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 43
Sterrett, Frances R., 90
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 57
Stoddard, Charles Warren, 168
Story, How Started, 29
Stott, Roscoe Gilmore, 54
Style, Edward Everett Hale's, 123
Style, Eleanor Abbott's, 61
Style, Getting a Good Literary, 45
Stuart, Eleanor, 54
Tarkington, Booth, 168
Tarkington, Booth, The Writing of Plays, 4
Taylor, Emerson, 10
Tennyson, Alfred, 137, 155, 168
Thought, Forms of, Myers, 35
Towndrow, Grace Eleanore, 153
Triolets, How to Write, 39
Typewriter, The, and Autographs, 106
Typewriter, Keeping It Clean, Hughes, 19
Typewriting, A Lesson in, Lauriston, 86
Verse, The Record Price for, 126
Vogel, Arthur E., Editorial Talk, 102
Walter, Eugene, The Writing of Plays, 4
Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 170
Warner, Charles Dudley, II
Weir, F. Roney, 41
Wesley, John, Conquering His Cipher, 172
West, Alwin, An Author's Diary, 180 ; The Love-
Theme in Poetry and Prose, 113
Wharton, E. A., 166
Whitman, Walt, 121
Wickham, Harvey, 153
Wilde, Oscar, 57
Winchell, Ernestine, 120
Winter, John Strange, 155
“ Wizard of Oz," How Written, 29
Wonderly, W. Carey, Marketing Manuscripts, i
Words Commonly Used, 186
Words That Burn, Higginson, 103
Write, Learning to, 93
Writers, A Scheme to Swindle, 164
Writers, Encouragement for Young, 116
Writers, Financial Reward of English, 171
Writers of the Day, 8, 23, 40, 53. 79, 89, 107, 118, 135,
Writers, Rules for Fiction, 125
Writing as a Profession, 45
Writing Because One Must, 88
Writing for Writing's Sake, 44
Writing. Pretentious, 45
Wynn, Ray, 136
External Nature in Scott's
“ Lady of the Lake,” 50
Zangwill, Israel, The Writing of Plays, 2
son hope to find an acceptance with a magazine he does not know simply because he has been told that the magazine in question uses short fiction ? The story, and often it is a good enough tale of its kind, meets failure principally because its author does not know the markets.
And very often, after having his fond hopes dashed to the ground, the aspiring author will go off in a corner by himself and talk of “pull with editors." This is all foolishness. It is not yet three years ago since I sold the Smart Set my first story, and before that I had not had published so much as a “poem” in a college paper. Since then I have sold to thirty different publications, and to their editors my name must have meant literally nothing at all. There is no such thing as “pull with editors”; · that much I will declare until I am hoarse.
If a writer will but think, when his brain child is returned to him with the politelyworded rejection slip, which in most cases tells nothing, that the fault lies not so much with the story as with the market to which he has offered it, if he will but study his markets anew, select a magazine whose stories ring with the same rhythm as does his own, if he will do this, then, unless I am very much mistaken, a letter of acceptance will more than repay him for the time spent in selecting his market.
Misfit manuscripts are not happy accidents at best, and a Smart Set tale wandering into the Argosy office is very much a case of a fish out of water. The result is inevitable, but a man who studied his markets would never make so stupid a mistake. Both publications use very excellent stuff of their kind, but the two magazines are not twin brothers,
Indeed, it seems to me, and it must surely appear the same to all thoughtful authors, that enough cannot be said about marketing manuscripts. It should be gone over again and again, until every person who writes or who ever hopes to write will see the importance of studying the various magazines, and noting wherein they differ. For individuality is the secret of a successful magazine.
There are so many, many really good stories that even now are wandering over the face of the earth, outcasts and ashamed, when an anchorage could be found for them did their authors spend but half the time in looking up a market that they did in naming the heroine Chance may bring you an acceptance once, twice, but unless you know your markets, and until then, you can never hope to make a place for yourself in literature. Plot, method, character, all of these are essential to successful writing, but equally as great, if indeed not greater, is – to know your market !
THE WRITING OF PLAYS.
1. Carey Wonderly. BALTIMORE, Md.
Prominent playwrights were asked by the Israel Zangwill : How do I write my New York Times some pertinent questions plays ? Really, it is hard to tell. Still, conabout writing plays. They were asked about sidering the matter from a psychological the source of their inspiration ; their object, standpoint, it presents
interesting if they had any ; their method of working phases. The play I am bringing out now is out their themes ; the source of their plots ; the result of three years' observation and the selection of "types"; the obstacles en- study. I am president of the Jewish Terricountered; the hours of work; the time torial Organization and the Jewish Immispent in producing the finished product ; gration Regulation Department. It is with and many other suggestive points the public the work of those societies that I have been is curious over. Following are their own latterly concerned. descriptions of their methods :
Naturally, in the pursuance of this work,
I have been brought in contact with all sorts ment of the imagined play. That form may of Jews and Gentiles ; I have seen sights be one which utilizes the various means of and situations which it is not given to most metre or of prose to achieve its end, but men to encounter, and all these have sunk always the image, the whole image, and into my soul and heart and left their print. nothing but the image, is what I seek to emThe average business man could go through body. It follows that every new idea for a the experiences that I have gone through, play will involve a new technique
- a fresh settle the problems in so far as he could striving to project the image truthfully. and go on his way and think no more of the For this reason, I can make no generalizamatter. But with a literary man it is differ
to my methods, for they are - I ent. With him such things are bound to think and hope — in constant process of produce a lasting effect which sooner or later growth, through study of life and of the must manifest itself in his writings.
requisites of stagecraft. My impressions were all clearly defined, To imagine something dramatic worthy to and from those impressions I evolved a plot say, and to say it with truth to that image – encompassing the subject. That was how such is my only creed in the writing of “The Melting Pot" came to be written. I plays. shut my eyes one night, and there before me Clyde Fitch : I write plays of such varysaw in one vivid flash the whole play, justing characters that it would hardly be posas it should be on the stage. I saw people sible for me to say that I have any hard and fighting, striving, working out their salva- fast rules for going to work, but the start of tion, groping in the dark — and there I had all my plays is with the one basic idea. Take my play! That's the way all my plays come Girls,” for instance ; there the idea I to me ; one flash of an instant, then the started with was the life of the bachelor girl whole thing is clear and is three-quarters of the type which is so common to-day. I done.
took that idea, thought over it, and considDifficulties of detail are bound to arise in ered it until I had a plot which would porthe working out of any theme ; but where tray the idea truthfully and at the same time you have the real, deep purpose of your play appeal to the public, then went to work. firmly in mind, these are easily adjusted, and That's the method I follow in all cases: get merely make the final achievement all the the idea first and think over its possibilities, more worth while.
then go to work. You ask my purpose in writing plays. I As I said, the first consideration is to porwrite them to make people feel, and, feeling, tray the idea in a truthful and convincing arise to responsibilities.
manner. My characters I fit to my idea. How many words I write a day, and all Sometimes I find them doing things which that, I don't know. I write constantly, con- are not in accordance with the idea, but stantly ; without let-up from the time I con- which are contrary to their dispositions as I ceive my plot until I have my play finished. have conceived them. When either of those Different plays take different times in the things happens, I know that either my idea working out.
or my characters cannot be true to life, and Percy Mackaye : My object in being a then I have to start all over again. dramatist is to express ideas which seem to I do not take my characters directly from me worth while to express. When I start life. Several times. I have had people come to write a play, therefore, I start with an to me and say : “Mr. Fitch, I see you put idea - an idea which is the play in embryo. So-and-So in such-and-such a play.” Well, The problem of writing the play, then, be- they're wrong - I never in my life put any comes one of eliminating from the essential one individual into any play. My characters idea all extraneous ideas, of expressing it in are all the result of observation, though. such dramatic form as shall project the play's Characters interest me tremendously. I image from my mind into the constructive can't walk two blocks along the street withlimitations of stagecraft with least impair- out meeting several people who excite my
curiosity. But as for taking any one and putting him bodily into a play — no, I don't do it. My characters are taken from life only in that they are composite types and embody a dozen people whom I have met and talked with.
About the actual time spent in writing, I don't know. With me that's the easiest part of it all ; it's a matter in which I'm governed entirely by circumstances and my moods. I never think of touching pen to paper until I know exactly what I'm going to write and have thought over my play for at least a year.
Booth Tarkington : All my plays have been written in collaboration with Mr. Wilson, and that has made the work much easier ; two minds are always better than one. My plays have all been ordered by managers for some particular star before they have been written, so for me — and when I say for me, I also mean for Mr. Wil
the thing of paramount importance has been the character of the eading personage in the drama.
I have first studied the peculiarities of the man for whom I was writing the piece, and found out just what best suited him. I did not necessarily give him the same sort of part that he had been used to playing, but I gave him one that he could do well. Then I drew the other characters in contrast to him, so that he would be made to stand out strikingly.
In “The Man from Home,” for instance, I made the hero a young Indianian of democratic spirit, and, in order to throw his personality into bold relief, I grouped about him a number of Europeanized Americans, and set the scene in Italy. I do not mean to say that I neglect the minor parts, for if they are not convincingly drawn, you might just as well let your star play with a set of dummies, but I make them all subsidiary to the main character. Once having my set of characters well in mind, I set out to weave an interesting plot into which they will fit. That part is easy, for, of course, Mr. Wilson and I work it out together, as we do all else connected with the play.
Usually the characters introduced are com
posite types, which are the result of observation, and these, as a rule, prove to be the most convincing to an audience. Sometimes, though, we take people directly from life. The Englishman in The Man from Hoine" is an example of that ; Mr. Wilson and I met him in Rome and reproduced him as we found him, yet in all the press notices I have read of the play that character has been pronounced over-drawn and exaggerated.
Since Mr. Wilson and I always talk over and write our plays together, the people in them seldom“ balk”. not nearly so much as in fiction. Our working hours would probably average five a day, though we sometimes work much longer than that. We first write a brief scenario, then a longer scenario, and then dictate the whole play to a stenographer. In that way the dialogue takes on a live, natural ring. After that we re-write the whole piece at least twice, and finally divide up different acts between us for a last polishing-off. The length of time we have consumed in writing our plays has varied from four to twelve weeks. “The Man from Home," I believe, took about eight.
Eugene Walter : How I write my plays and how I conceive my plays is absolutely immaterial. I could n't tell you it I wanted to. There are certain social problems which have got to be met and counted with, and I write with these in mind. My plots just come to me, that's all, and I write them because I have to — because the times demand them. You'll find all the young playwrights who are doing things will tell you the same thing. They don't know how they write ; they write because they have to.
The American stage has been abused long enough, and we're now approaching a new epoch. in the drama of the world. In the old Grecian days the stage supplied the place occupied by our newspapers of to-day, and ever since that time the stage has been a great big factor in the moulding of public opinion. For the last fifteen or twenty years that influence has been used to debase, not to uplift. The harm that has been done by these cheap musical comedies, which appeal only to that which is lowest in man, is almost immeasurable. For that a certain