Genesis of a Story

My stories seem to spring from three sources: (1) A strange and interesting fact or incident that apparently has never been touched upon. One story had its genesis in a piece of newspaper miscellany, which stated that Marconi was experimenting with wireless apparatus that would keep out eavesdroppers. That was new, so far as fiction was concerned. Using it as the basis of a plot, I wove around it color from my own store of wireless knowl­edge, decided on the title, and proceeded to transcribe it. (2) An interesting character. One of my animal stories illustrates this point. It was about a raccoon, which I selected because he is a highly interesting animal; very intelligent, and with traits that approach the human at times. Moreover, he had not been “written out,” as would seem to be the case of the dog. I had written stories about nearly all of the menagerie except procyon lotors; there­fore, why not a ‘coon story, The setting I supplied from life ; the incident from study and experience, and the ” at­mosphere “-a vital component of an animal story-took care of itself. (3) A title. A snappy title always sug­gests a story, and while I have utilized this method several times, I prefer a plot germ in other form.

American author of fiction, juvenile works, folklore, detective & mystery fiction, legends and periodicals. 1889 – 1973