A Halloween visit with Mr. Poe

We think the modern day style of writing is just that – modern. Grabbing a reader right away and moving quickly to the action.
It is not new at all.
Over 100 years ago, Edgar Allen Poe created some of the basic rules for powerful short story writing. 
“First the artist must decide, of all the innumerable effects or impressions, what one shall I select?”
“If the very initial sentence does not bring out this affect, then he has failed  in his first step.”
Many of Poe’s opening sentences immediately pull in the setting and the character.
From “The Cask of Amontillado”:

“THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could ; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.”
“The Tell Tale Heart”:

“TRUE! – nervous – very, very nervous I am and had been and am; but why will you say I am mad?”

From “The Pit and The Pendulum”:

“I WAS sick — sick unto death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me.”

From “The Black Cat”:

“FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.”
And of course, “The Raven”:
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore–

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”
Guess what? He also created the detective story. Sherlock Holmes and Poirot – and TV’s “House”? All ripoffs of Poe. Who knew?
And he, too, struggled for a looooong time before finding his success. Enough times that any of us would have quit. 
Imagine if he had. 

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

8 thoughts on “A Halloween visit with Mr. Poe

  1. The eagle eyed proof reader is on the case. I’m guessing he didn’t say: “he has filled in his first step.”. More likely that should be: “he has failed in his first step.”
    Shared on my site via Press This.

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