The Fiction Factory by John Milton Edwards

The Fiction Factory

byJohn Milton Edwards

Kobo ebook | January 20, 2015

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I.

AUT FICTION,
AUT NULLUS.
"Well, my dear," said John Milton Edwards, miserably uncertain and turning to appeal to his wife, "which shall it be—to write or not to write?"

"To write," was the answer, promptly and boldly, "to do nothing else but write."

John Milton wanted her to say that, and yet he did not. Her conviction, orally expressed, had all the ring of true metal; yet her husband, reflecting his own inner perplexities, heard a false note suggesting the base alloy of uncertainty.

"Hadn't we better think it over?" he quibbled.

"You've been thinking it over for two years, John, and this month is the first time your returns from your writing have ever been more than your salary at the office. If you can be so successful when you are obliged to work nights and Sundays—and most of the time with your wits befogged by office routine—what could you not do if you spent ALL your time in your Fiction Factory?"

"It may be," ventured John Milton, "that I could do better work, snatching a few precious moments from those everlasting pay-rolls, than by giving all my time and attention to my private Factory."

"Is that logical?" inquired Mrs. John Milton.

"I don't know, my dear, whether it's logical or not. We're dealing with a psychological mystery that has never been broken to harness. Suppose I have the whole day before me and sit down at my typewriter to write a story. Well and good. But getting squared away with a fresh sheet over the platen isn't the whole of it. The Happy Idea must be evolved. What if the Happy Idea does not come when I am ready for it? Happy Ideas, you know, have a disagreeable habit of hiding out. There's no hard and fast rule, that I am aware, for capturing a Happy Idea at just the moment it may be most in demand. There's lightning in a change of work, the sort of lightning that clears the air with a tonic of inspiration. When I'm paymastering the hardest I seem to be almost swamped with ideas for the story mill. Query: Will the mill grind out as good a grist if it grinds continuously? If I were sure—"

"It stands to reason," Mrs. Edwards maintained stoutly, "that if you can make $125 a month running the mill nights and Sundays, you ought to be able to make a good deal more than that with all the week days added."

"Provided," John Milton qualified, "my fountain of inspiration will flow as freely when there is nothing to hinder it as it does now when I have it turned off for twelve hours out of the twenty-four."

"Why shouldn't it?"

"I don't know, my dear," John Milton admitted, "unless it transpires that my inspiration isn't strong enough to be drawn on steadily."

"Fudge," exclaimed Mrs. Edwards.

"And then," her husband proceeded, "let us consider another phase of the question. The demand may fall off. The chances are that it WILL fall off the moment the gods become aware of the fact that I am depending on the demand for our bread and butter. Whenever a thing becomes absolutely essential to you, Fate immediately obliterates every trail that leads to it, and you go wandering desperately back and forth, getting more and more discouraged until—"

"Until you drop in your tracks," broke in Mrs. Edwards, "and give up—a quitter."

"Quitter" is a mean word. There's something about it that jostles you, and treads on your toes.

"I don't think I'd prove a quitter," said John Milton, "even if I did get lost in a labyrinth of hard luck. It's the idea of losing you along with me that hurts."

"I'll risk that."

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Title:The Fiction FactoryFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:January 20, 2015Publisher:The Editor CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN:9990049800970

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