Fundamentals of fiction writing by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (1922) PDF book

Fundamentals of fiction writing  by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman (1922) PDF book
Fundamentals of fiction writing

Living in so complex a civilization, we generally fail to realize how complex have become our mental habits. We have come more and more to think upon complexities until, for the most part, the more elementary facts, processes, and approaches are slighted or omitted as beneath the high development of our minds. 


However learned our thinking maybe, its foundation must be elementary thinking, and, if elementary thinking is neglected because it seems too elementary for attention, the result is likely to be unsoundness of the whole structure because it has been erected on an unsound foundation. Add to faulty thinking habits the human tendency to accept as established what has been handed down to us by our thought predecessors, dead or contemporaneous. Progress can be made only to the extent this tendency is overcome by chance or guarded against. Guarding against it requires particularly the close scrutiny of elementals. It is particularly unfortunate that the specialists of course being the most complex thinkers of us all, we have allowed our habit of specialization to leave to them more and more the guidance of general thought, thus drifting further and further from elementary methods of thinking.


The more thoroughly you analyze modern thinking methods and their results, the more evident becomes the damage done. Simplicity is the key, but, being rather proud of our complexity and advancement, we have become such strangers to simplicity that we even distrust it when we meet it. It is most pitiful of all that a mere outward show of complexity gains more respect than does a simple essential unadorned. Yet it is true. Almost automatically simplicity produces in us a reaction of contempt, a feeling that our highly developed minds have long ago passed on beyond such childish matters. We are too advanced to bother over the elementals and the result too often is much frantic "progress" along wrong paths.

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