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Introductory To Short Story Writing
After studying the following detailed analysis of the short-story form, however, the aspiring writer should read stories with greater appreciation.
What Knowledge Must I Have To Succeed?
Let me state with the utmost emphasis at my command that thousands of writers have succeeded and are succeeding despite the lack of a good education or of any education at all, as it is known in the common sense.
Getting Acquainted With Your Ideas
Many aspiring writers have said to me: I would love to write for the movies or for the magazines and I know I could if I only had the right kind of ideas.
Becoming Interested In Yourself
A certain famous writer has said that success in writing depends largely upon three factors. First, the individual must be intensely interested in writing; second, he must have something worth while to say; third, he must be able to say it clearly and understandingly.
Qualities Of Mind You Should Encourage
But for general advice the best way is to set aside a certain time each day, or every other day, in which you can write. Take up your plots one by one, completing the first plot or theme before you proceed to the next.
The Theme Of Your Story
Every story must have a start, a beginning, a foundation. Such a nucleus we call the theme. The theme of the story is that part of the story about which the author builds his complete production.
Point Of View
The reader comes to you, the author, as an entire stranger. From the moment of introduction, he gladly relinquishes all conscious hold on his practical every-day world.
Characters And Characterization
Most People read for amusement and entertainment. It will be well for the young writer to bear this fact constantly in mind in planning who his characters will be and what they will do.
Building The Plot
Plot consists of the series of incidents which present a picture of life—logical—clear—interesting. In a previous chapter I treated of the types of stories—the places, people, and circumstances from which plot-germs might be obtained.
Excercise In Plot Building
Perhaps the best manner in which the young writer can become most intimately acquainted with the processes of plot-building is to have stories built up and taken down right before his eyes.
The Use Of Coincidence
Now, while it is permissible that a plausible and convincing coincidence plunge the characters of a story into complications, coincidence must stop there.
The Continuity, Or Scenario
The continuity, or scenario, is the fourth division of the photoplay script—as used by the director in the studio. In the continuity, the plot is out-lined in action, just as it appears on the screen; everything your characters do—every action they go through—is recorded in the scenario.
Characters In The Photoplay
Figuratively speaking, you will be the social sponsor of the characters you create in your photoplays; therefore, if you introduce the picture-going public to characterless or uninteresting people, you will be guilty of a social indiscretion, so to speak.
Setting In The Photoplay
Setting in the photoplay consists of the time, place, and condition it) which the action takes place. In the setting we have what we might call atmosphere in terms of art, or environment in the terminology of science.
The Photoplay Title
There has been a style in tides somewhat as in dress. At one time it was customary to use a certain fixed order of words. Later the fad was to use the leading character's name as a title.
The Photoplay Stage
The scope, or view, encompassed by a photo-play camera is commonly called the photoplay stage, no matter whether in a studio or out-of-doors. The photoplay stage, then, may seem to the beginner to be quite a large area; but, in reality, it is not so large as it at first seems.
What To Write About
The human element-heart interest and human interest—sells more manuscripts than anything else. No matter how cleverly your work is written, how carefully constructed your plot, how gripping the events, it will fail if it lacks heart interest or human interest.
Things You Should Not Write About
The preceding chapter has indicated the importance of knowing what to write about. It is also vital for the beginner. to know what he should not write about, for there are many subjects which, in themselves, make the sale of a photoplay practically impossible.
Writing Comedy
Comedy action should progress smoothly like a well-oiled machine. Each scene should glide easily to the next, without a hitch or a halt, constantly approaching the major climax, exactly as in drama.
The Writer, His Methods
While the writer should always aim to do the best work of which he is capable, this does not mean that he should despise the day of small beginnings. Better work tomorrow can only be accomplished upon the foundation of good work, carefully finished, today.
Why Manuscripts Are Rejected
Many excellent manuscripts have been refused by magazines to whom they were, as far as experienced judgment could perceive, admirably suited, even when those same magazines were in the market for the particular type of story submitted.
How Successful Writers Sell Their Manuscripts
Some of the greatest writers in the world have indorsed literary agencies. Thousands of writers have succeeded through the help of the agent when they had hopelessly failed on their own behalf.
How To Merit Success
Do not expect that everything you write will sell readily. You may not have offered it in the right direction, or at the right time, or possibly your manuscript is weak in some respect.
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