The story of my first novel; How a novel is written
13 Pages

The story of my first novel; How a novel is written


Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer


The Project Gutenberg EBook of The story of my first novel; How a novel is written, by Mrs. HungerfordThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The story of my first novel; How a novel is writtenAuthor: Mrs. HungerfordRelease Date: December 25, 2008 [EBook #27622]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FIRST NOVEL; HOW WRITTEN ***Produced by Daniel Fromont[Transcriber's note: Mrs. Hungerford (Margaret Wolfe Hamilton) (1855?-1897) "The story of my first novel" (from TheLadies' Home Journal vol. VII No 8 Philadelphia July 1890 p.14)]The Duchess"The story of my first novel"My first novel! Alas! for that first story of mine—the raven I sent out of my ark and never see again! Unlike the proverbialcurse, it did n o t come home to roost, it stayed where I had sent it. The only thing I ever heard of it again was a polite letterfrom the editor in whose office it lay, telling me I could have it back if I enclosed stamps for the amount of twopencehalfpenny, otherwise he should feel it his unpleasant duty to "consign it to the waste-paper basket."I was only sixteen then, and it is a very long time ago; but I have always hated the words "waste-paper" ever since. I don'tremember that I was either angry or indignant, but I d o remember that ...



Published by
Published 01 December 2010
Reads 28
Language English
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The story of myfirst novel; How a novel is written, by Mrs.HungerfordThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The story of my first novel; How a novel iswrittenAuthor: Mrs. HungerfordRelease Date: December 25, 2008 [EBook #27622]Language: English*E*B* OSOTAK RFTI ROSFT  TNHOISV EPLR; OHJOEWC T WGRUITTTEENNB E**R*GProduced by Daniel Fromont[Transcriber's note: Mrs. Hungerford (MargaretfiWrsotl fne oHveal"m (ilftroonm)  (T1h8e5 5L?a-d1i8e9s'7 )H "oTmhee  Jstoourryn aolf  vmoly. VIINo 8 Philadelphia July 1890 p.14)]The Duchess"The story of my first novel"My first novel! Alas! for that first story of mine—theraven I sent out of my ark and never see again!Unlike the proverbial curse, it did not come hometo roost, it stayed where I had sent it. The onlything I ever heard of it again was a polite letterfrom the editor in whose office it lay, telling me Icould have it back if I enclosed stamps for theamount of twopence halfpenny, otherwise he
should feel it his unpleasant duty to "consign it tothe waste-paper basket."I was only sixteen then, and it is a very long timeago; but I have always hated the words "waste-paper" ever since. I don't remember that I waseither angry or indignant, but I do remember that Iwas both sad and sorry. At all events, I never sentthat two-pence half-penny, so I conclude my firstMS. went to light the fire of that heartless editor.So much comfort I may have bestowed on him, buthe left me comfortless; and yet who can say whatgood he may not have done me? Paths made toosmooth leave the feet unprepared for rougherroads. To step always in the primrose ways isdeath to the higher desires. Yet oh, for the hours Ispent over that poor rejected story, beautifying it(as I fondly, if erroneously, believed), adding aword here, a sentiment there! So conscientiously-minded was I, that even the headings of thechapters were scraps of poetry (so called) done allby myself. Well, never mind. I was very youngthen, and as they say upon the stage, I "meantwell."For a long twelvemonth after that I never dreamedof putting pen to paper. I had given myself up, as itwere. I was the most modest of children, and fullydecided within myself that a man so clever, as areal live editor must needs be, could not have beenmistaken. He had seen and judged, and practicallytold me that writing was not my forte. Yet theinevitable hour came round once more. Once againan idea caught me, held me, persuaded me that Icould put it into words. I struggled with it this time,but it was too strong for me, that early exhilaratingcertainty that there was "something in me," aspeople say, was once more mine, and seizing mypen, I sat down and wrote, wrote, wrote, until theidea was an object formed. With closed doors Iwrote at stolen moments. I had not forgotten thequips and cranks uttered at my expense by mybrother and sister on the refusal of that last-firstmanuscript. To them it had been a fund of joy.In fear and trembling I wrote this second effusion,finished it, wept over it (it was the most lachrymoseof tales), and finally under cover of night inducedthe house maid to carry it to the post. To that firstunsympathetic editor I sent it (which argues adistinct lack of malice in my disposition), and oh,joy! it was actually accepted. I have written many athing since, but I doubt if I have ever known againthe unadulterated delight that was mine when myfirst insignificant check was held within my hands.
=====================================================================[WTroalfnes cHraibmeirlt'so nn)o (t1e:8 5M5r?s-. 1H89u7n)g "erHfoorwd  a( Mnaorvgeal risetNwroi tt2e Pn"h i(lfardoemlp Thihae  JLaanduiaersy'  H18o9m0e  pJ.1o1u)r]nal vol. VIIThe Duchess"How a novel is written"The characters in my novels, you ask how Iconceive them? Once the plot is rescued from themisty depths of the mind, the characters come andrange themselves readily enough. A scene, we willsay, suggests itself—a garden, a flower show, aball-room, what you will—and two people in it. Ayoung man and woman for choice. They arealways young with me, for that matter, for what,under the heaven we are promised, is soaltogether perfect as youth! If any one of you, dearreaders, is as bad a sleeper as I am, you willunderstand how thoughts swarm at midnight. Busy,bustling, stinging bees, they forbid the needed rest,and, thronging the idle brain, compel attention.Here in the silent hours the ghosts calledcharacters walk, smiling, bowing, nodding,pirouetting, going like marionettes through all theirpaces. At night I have had my gayest thoughts, atnight my saddest. All things seem open then tothat giant, Imagination. Here, lying in the dark, withas yet no glimmer of the coming dawn, no faintestlight to show where the closed curtains join, tooindolent to rise and light the lamp, too sleepy to putone's foot out of the well-warmed bed, prayingfruitlessly for that sleep that will not come—it is atsuch moments as theses that my mind lays hold ofthe novel now in hand, and works away at it with avigor, against which the natural desire for sleephopelessly makes battle.Just born this novel may be, or half completed;however it is, off goes my brain at a tangent.Scene follows scene, one touching the other; thecharacter unconsciously falls into shape; the villaintakes a rudy hue; the hero dons a white robe; asfor the heroine, who shall say what dyes fromOlympia are not hers? A conversation suggestsitself, an act thrusts itself into notice. Lightest ofskeletons all these must necessarily be, yet theymake up eventually the big whole, and from thebrain wanderings of one wakeful night three of four
chapters are created for the next morning's work.As for the work itself, mine is perhaps strangelydone, for often I have written the last chapter first,and founded my whole story on the one episodethat it contained.End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The storyof my first novel; How a novel is written, by Mrs.Hungerford*E**B OEONKD  FOIFR STTH INS OPVREOL;J EHCOT WG WUTREITNTBEENR *G***2*7*6**2 2T.hziisp  f*il*e* *s* hTohuilsd  abne dn aallm aesds o2c7i6at2e2d.t fxitl eosr ofhvtatrpi:o//uws wfowr.mguattes nwbilel rbg.eo frogu/2n/d7 /i6n/:2/27622/Produced by Daniel FromontUpdated editions will replace the previous one—theold editions will be renamed.Creating the works from public domain printeditions means that no one owns a United Statescopyright in these works, so the Foundation (andyou!) can copy and distribute it in the United Stateswithout permission and without paying copyrightroyalties. Special rules, set forth in the GeneralTerms of Use part of this license, apply to copyingand distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronicworks to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tmconcept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is aregistered trademark, and may not be used if youcharge for the eBooks, unless you receive specificpermission. If you do not charge anything forcopies of this eBook, complying with the rules isvery easy. You may use this eBook for nearly anypurpose such as creation of derivative works,reports, performances and research. They may bemodified and printed and given away—you may dopractically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.Redistribution is subject to the trademark license,especially commercial redistribution.*** START: FULL LICENSE ***PTLHEE AFSUEL LR EPARDO JTEHICST  BGEUFTOERNEB YEROGU  LDIICSETRNISBEUTE
OR USE THIS WORKTo protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission ofpromoting the free distribution of electronic works,by using or distributing this work (or any other workassociated in any way with the phrase "ProjectGutenberg"), you agree to comply with all theterms of the Full Project Gutenberg-tm License(available with this file or online at 1. General Terms of Use andRedistributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronicskrow1.A. By reading or using any part of this ProjectGutenberg-tm electronic work, you indicate thatyou have read, understand, agree to and accept allthe terms of this license and intellectual property(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do notagree to abide by all the terms of this agreement,you must cease using and return or destroy allcopies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works inyour possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining acopy of or access to a Project Gutenberg-tmelectronic work and you do not agree to be boundby the terms of this agreement, you may obtain arefund from the person or entity to whom you paidthe fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.It may only be used on or associated in any waywith an electronic work by people who agree to bebound by the terms of this agreement. There are afew things that you can do with most ProjectGutenberg-tm electronic works even withoutcomplying with the full terms of this agreement.See paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of thingsyou can do with Project Gutenberg-tm electronicworks if you follow the terms of this agreement andhelp preserve free future access to ProjectGutenberg-tm electronic works. See paragraph 1.Ebelow.1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary ArchiveFoundation ("the Foundation" or PGLAF), owns acompilation copyright in the collection of ProjectGutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all theindividual works in the collection are in the publicdomain in the United States. If an individual work isin the public domain in the United States and youare located in the United States, we do not claim aright to prevent you from copying, distributing,performing, displaying or creating derivative worksbased on the work as long as all references toProject Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we
hope that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronicworks by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tmworks in compliance with the terms of thisagreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tmname associated with the work. You can easilycomply with the terms of this agreement bykeeping this work in the same format with itsattached full Project Gutenberg-tm License whenyou share it without charge with others.1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you arelocated also govern what you can do with thiswork. Copyright laws in most countries are in aconstant state of change. If you are outside theUnited States, check the laws of your country inaddition to the terms of this agreement beforedownloading, copying, displaying, performing,distributing or creating derivative works based onthis work or any other Project Gutenberg-tm work.The Foundation makes no representationsconcerning the copyright status of any work in anycountry outside the United States.1.E. Unless you have removed all references toProject Gutenberg:1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to,or other immediate access to, the full ProjectGutenberg-tm License must appear prominentlywhenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tmwork (any work on which the phrase "ProjectGutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase"Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed,displayed, performed, viewed, copied ordistributed:This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tmelectronic work is derived from the public domain(does not contain a notice indicating that it isposted with permission of the copyright holder), thework can be copied and distributed to anyone inthe United States without paying any fees orcharges. If you are redistributing or providingaccess to a work with the phrase "ProjectGutenberg" associated with or appearing on thework, you must comply either with therequirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 orobtain permission for the use of the work and theProject Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth inparagraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.
1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tmelectronic work is posted with the permission of thecopyright holder, your use and distribution mustcomply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7and any additional terms imposed by the copyrightholder. Additional terms will be linked to the ProjectGutenberg-tm License for all works posted with thepermission of the copyright holder found at thebeginning of this work.1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the fullProject Gutenberg-tm License terms from thiswork, or any files containing a part of this work orany other work associated with Project Gutenberg-.mt1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute orredistribute this electronic work, or any part of thiselectronic work, without prominently displaying thesentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with activelinks or immediate access to the full terms of theProject Gutenberg-tm License.1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this workin any binary, compressed, marked up,nonproprietary or proprietary form, including anyword processing or hypertext form. However, if youprovide access to or distribute copies of a ProjectGutenberg-tm work in a format other than "PlainVanilla ASCII" or other format used in the officialversion posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tmweb site (, you must, at noadditional cost, fee or expense to the user, providea copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a meansof obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in itsoriginal "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other form. Anyalternate format must include the full ProjectGutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph1.E.1.d1i.sEp.l7a.y iDnog , npoet rcfohramrgine ga,  fceoep yfionrg  aocrc edissst rtibo,u tviinegw ianngy,Project Gutenberg-tm works unless you complywith paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copiesof or providing access to or distributing ProjectGutenberg-tm electronic works provided that- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profitsyou derive from the use of Project Gutenberg-tmworks calculated using the method you already useto calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owedto the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tmtrademark, but he has agreed to donate royaltiesunder this paragraph to the Project GutenbergLiterary Archive Foundation. Royalty paymentsmust be paid within 60 days following each date on
which you prepare (or are legally required toprepare) your periodic tax returns. Royaltypayments should be clearly marked as such andsent to the Project Gutenberg Literary ArchiveFoundation at the address specified in Section 4,"Information about donations to the ProjectGutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."- You provide a full refund of any money paid by auser who notifies you in writing (or by e-mail) within30 days of receipt that s/he does not agree to theterms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm License.You must require such a user to return or destroyall copies of the works possessed in a physicalmedium and discontinue all use of and all accessto other copies of Project Gutenberg-tm works.- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3,a full refund of any money paid for a work or areplacement copy, if a defect in the electronic workis discovered and reported to you within 90 days ofreceipt of the work.-f oYr ofrue ec odimsptrliyb uwtiitohn  alolf  oPtrhoejre tcet rGmust eofn btheirsg -atgmr eweomrkesn.t1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute aProject Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group ofworks on different terms than are set forth in thisagreement, you must obtain permission in writingfrom both the Project Gutenberg Literary ArchiveFoundation and Michael Hart, the owner of theProject Gutenberg-tm trademark. Contact theFoundation as set forth in Section 3 below..F.11.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers andemployees expend considerable effort to identify,do copyright research on, transcribe and proofreadpublic domain works in creating the ProjectGutenberg-tm collection. Despite these efforts,Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works, and themedium on which they may be stored, may contain"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete,inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, acopyright or other intellectual propertyinfringement, a defective or damaged disk or othermedium, a computer virus, or computer codes thatdamage or cannot be read by your equipment.1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OFDAMAGES - Except for the "Right of Replacementor Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, theProject Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, theowner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, andany other party distributing a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work under this agreement, disclaim allliability to you for damages, costs and expenses,iHnAclVuEdi nNgO l eRgEal MfeEeDsI. EYS OFUO AR GNREEGEL ITGHEATN CYEO,USTRICT LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY ORPBRREOAVICDHE OD FI NC POANRTARGARCAT PEHX FC3E. PYT OTUH OASGEREETHAT THE FOUNDATION, THE TRADEMARKAOGWRNEEERM, EANNTD  WAINLYL  DNIOSTT RBIBE ULITAOBRL EU NTDO EYR OTUHISFOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT,CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTALDPAOMSSAIGBIELSI TEY VOEFN  ISFU YCOH UD AGIMVAEG NE.OTICE OF THE1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT ORREFUND - If you discover a defect in thiselectronic work within 90 days of receiving it, youcan receive a refund of the money (if any) you paidfor it by sending a written explanation to the personyou received the work from. If you received thework on a physical medium, you must return themedium with your written explanation. The personor entity that provided you with the defective workmay elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu ofa refund. If you received the work electronically,the person or entity providing it to you may chooseto give you a second opportunity to receive thework electronically in lieu of a refund. If the secondcopy is also defective, you may demand a refundin writing without further opportunities to fix theproblem.1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement orrefund set forth in paragraph 1.F.3, this work ispWroAvRidReAd NtToI yEoSu  O'AFS -AINS'Y  WKIITNHD , NEOX PORTEHSESR ORIMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TOFWITANRERSASN TFIOERS  AONF Y MPEURRCPHOASNET.IBILITY OR1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers ofcertain implied warranties or the exclusion orlimitation of certain types of damages. If anydisclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreementviolates the law of the state applicable to thisagreement, the agreement shall be interpreted tomake the maximum disclaimer or limitationpermitted by the applicable state law. The invalidityor unenforceability of any provision of thisagreement shall not void the remaining provisions.1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify andhold the Foundation, the trademark owner, anyagent or employee of the Foundation, anyoneproviding copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronicworks in accordance with this agreement, and anyvolunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tmelectronic works, harmless from all liability, costsand expenses, including legal fees, that arisedirectly or indirectly from any of the following whichyou do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this orany Project Gutenberg-tm work, (b) alteration,modification, or additions or deletions to anyProject Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect youcause.Section 2. Information about the Mission ofProject Gutenberg-tmProject Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the freedistribution of electronic works in formats readableby the widest variety of computers includingobsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. Itexists because of the efforts of hundreds ofvolunteers and donations from people in all walksof life.Volunteers and financial support to providevolunteers with the assistance they need, is criticalto reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's goals andensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collectionwill remain freely available for generations to come.In 2001, the Project Gutenberg Literary ArchiveFoundation was created to provide a secure andpermanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm andfuture generations. To learn more about theProject Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation andhow your efforts and donations can help, seeSections 3 and 4 and the Foundation web page at 3r.g  ILniftoerrmarayt iAornc ahibvoeu tF tohuen dPartoijoenctThe Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundationis a non profit 501(c)(3) educational corporationorganized under the laws of the state of Mississippiand granted tax exempt status by the InternalRevenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federaltax identification number is 64-6221541. Its501(c)(3) letter is posted at Contributions to theProject Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation aretax deductible to the full extent permitted by U.S.federal laws and your state's laws.The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557Melan Dr. S. Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but itsvolunteers and employees are scatteredthroughout numerous locations. Its business officeis located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City,UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email