Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year of the Book #44 O. Henry

“Rejections? Lordy, I should say I did have rejections, but I never took them to heart.”

Did you know that the phrase “banana republic” was coined by William Sydney Porter – which was O.Henry’s real name – in Cabbages and Kings, a book he wrote in Honduras where he hiding from the law who want him for trying to embezzle the bank where he had worked as a teller.


Actually, why am I wasting my breath. Because, if you want to meet the master of the short story, the man who wrote The Gift of the Magi and The Ransom of the Red Chief, if you want insights into the art of stotytelling straight from the Henry’s mouth, as it were, read this incredible interview with him done by the New York Times in 1909. (O Henry died a year later.)

’ll give you the whole secret of short story writing. Here it is. Rule I: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule II. The technical points you can get from Bliss Perry. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself you’ll never please the public. But in writing the story forget the public…” 



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