Fundamentals of Fiction Writing Arthur Sullivant Hoffman

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113 pages


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Fundamentals of Fiction Writing  by  Arthur Sullivant Hoffman

Fundamentals of Fiction Writing by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman
| Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 113 pages | ISBN: | 7.31 Mb

This volume was published in 1922.Excerpt:Chapter IBy Way of IntroductionLiving in so complex a civilization, we gen-erally fail to realize how complex have be-come our mental habits. We have comemore and more to think upon complexitiesuntil,MoreThis volume was published in 1922.Excerpt:Chapter IBy Way of IntroductionLiving in so complex a civilization, we gen-erally fail to realize how complex have be-come our mental habits. We have comemore and more to think upon complexitiesuntil, for the most part, the more elementaryfacts, processes and approaches are slightedor omitted as beneath the high developmentof our minds.

However learned our think-ing may be, its foundation must be elemen-tary thinking, and, if elementary thinking isneglected because it seems too elementary forattention, the result is likely to be unsound-ness of the whole structure because it hasbeen erected on unsound foundation.Add to faulty thinking habit the human ten-dency to accept as established what has beenhanded down to us by our thought predeces-sors, dead or contemporaneous. Progresscan be made only to the extent this tendencyis overcome by chance or guarded against.Guarding against it requires particularly theclose scrutiny of elementals.It is particularly unfortunate that, the spe-cialists of course being the most complexthinkers of us all, we have allowed our habitof specialization to leave to them more andmore the guidance of general thought, thusdrifting further and further from elementarymethods of thinking.The more thoroughly you analyze modernthinking methods and their results, the moreevident becomes the damage done.Simplicity is the key, but, being ratherproud of our complexity and advancement,we have become such strangers to simplicitythat we even distrust it when we meet it.

Itis most pitiful of all that a mere outwardshow of complexity gains more respect thandoes a simple essential unadorned. Yet it istrue. Almost automatically simplicity pro-duces in us a reaction of contempt, a feelingthat our highly developed minds have longago passed on beyond such childish matters.We are too advanced to bother over the ele-mentals and the result too often is muchfrantic progress along wrong paths.In the course of my editorial work it im-pressed itself on me more and more thatthere was somewhere unsoundness in boththe editorial basis of criticism and the writersbasis of creation.

Being afflicted with theprevalent complex method of thought, it wasonly gradually that I came to suspect that theunsoundness traced back to some of the ele-mentals all of us seemed to be taking forgranted. My suspicions have grown thestronger during the years of laboratorywork, at some points ripening into convic-tions, so that in this book intended to be ofpractical service to writers of magazine fic-tion they will inevitably show.

They must,therefore, be labeled in advance as depar-tures from the usual dicta laid down, so thatthe reader can make allowance accordingly.



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