Eloquent advice from Sir Scott on narrative formation

I must remind my reader of the progress of a stone rolled downhill by an idle truant boy (a pastime at which I was myself expert in my more juvenile years), it moves at first slowly, avoiding by inflection every obstacle of the least importance; but when it has attained its full impulse, and draws near the conclusion of its career, it smokes and thunders down, taking a rood at every spring, clearing hedge and ditch like a Yorkshire huntsman, and becoming most furiously rapid in its course when it is nearest to being consigned to rest for ever. Even such is the course of a narrative like that which you are perusing. The earlier events are studiously dwelt upon, that you, kind reader, may be introduced to the character rather by narrative than by the duller medium of direct description; but when the story draws near its close, we hurry over the circumstances, however important, which your imagination must have forestalled, and leave you to suppose those things which it would be abusing your patience to relate at length.

Sir Walter Scott, Waverly 

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One thought on “Eloquent advice from Sir Scott on narrative formation

  1. Mara Eastern says:

    A plaid-wearing spirit? I’m dead…

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