It was to be a story for boys; no need of psychology or fine writing; and I had a boy at hand to be a touchstone. I was unable to handle a brig (which the Hispaniola should have been), but I thought I could make shift to sail her as a schooner without public shame.And then I had an idea for John Silver from which I promised myself funds of entertainment; to take an admired friend of mine (whom the reader very likely knows and admires as much as I do), to deprive him of all his finer qualities and higher graces of temperament, to leave him with nothing but his strength, his courage, his quickness, and his magnificent geniality, and to try to express these in terms of the culture of a raw tarpaulin.'Rathillet ' was attempted before fifteen, 'The Vendetta' at twenty-nine, and the succession of defeats lasted unbroken till I was thirty-one.Tags: Cover Sheet For Essay Apa StyleTerrains Of The Heart And Other Essays On HomeEssay StoryWrite Research Paper IntroductionsHow To Solve Proportion ProblemsThe Basics Of Essay WritingElectrical Business PlanWritten EssayDegree Creative Writing
I might be compared to a cricketer of many years' standing who should never have made a run.
Anybody can write a short story—a bad one, I mean—who has industry and paper and time enough; but not every one may hope to write even a bad novel. The accepted novelist may take his novel up and put it down, spend days upon it in vain, and write not any more than he makes haste to blot. Human nature has certain rights; instinct—the instinct of self-preservation—forbids that any man (cheered and supported by the consciousness of no previous victory) should endure the miseries of unsuccessful literary toil beyond a period to be measured in weeks. The beginner must have a slant of wind, a lucky vein must be running, he must be in one of those hours when the words come and the phrases balance of themselves—even to begin.
Sooner or later, somehow, anyhow, I was bound to write a novel. Men are born with various manias: from my earliest childhood, it was mine to make a plaything of imaginary 'The King's Pardon' (otherwise 'Park Whitehead'), 'Edward Daven,' 'A Country Dance,' and 'A Vendetta in the West'; and it is consolatory to remember that these reams are now all ashes, and have been received again into the soil.
I have named but a few of my ill-fated efforts, only such indeed as came to a fair bulk ere they were desisted from; and even so they cover a long vista of years.
I had quite a reputation, I was the successful man; I passed my days in toil, the futility of which would sometimes make my cheek to burn—that I should spend a man's energy upon this business, and yet could not earn a livelihood: and still there shone ahead of me an unattained ideal: although I had attempted the thing with vigour not less than ten or twelve times, I had not yet written a novel.
All—all my pretty ones—had gone for a little, and then stopped inexorably like a schoolboy's watch.
And having begun, what a dread looking forward is that until the book shall be accomplished!
For so long a time, the slant is to continue unchanged, the vein to keep running, for so long a time you must keep at command the same quality of style: for so long a time your puppets are to be always vital, always consistent, always vigorous!
Such psychical surgery is, I think, a common way of 'making character'; perhaps it is, indeed, the only way.
We can put in the quaint figure that spoke a hundred words with us yesterday by the wayside; but do we know him?