Uzzell on how to make a short story short

by on 26/09/10 at 7:00 am

The solution of the problem of brevity in a short story is (to use sculptor’s language) not to set up a wire skeleton for a six-foot figure, slap on the clay until it is nearly “roughed out” and then begin hacking at it until it is reduced to a three-foot frame in the first place. The art that is needed is not destruction but selection. Questions of brevity, in other words, should be settled not during the writing of the story nor even during the plotting, but when the material is chosen.–Thomas H. Uzzell, Narrative Technique: A Practical Course in Literary Psychology.

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