Anatomy of a Story

Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds by George Singleton, with illustrations by Daniel Wallace

If you compare a novel of short story to the human body—or to the body of any mammal—then you need a spleen (for clean sentences), a liver (the toxin detector), lungs (to take in the fresh and vital, and expel the stale), kidneys (to purify), brain (the center of both logic and emotion), and so on. Fiction also needs a heartbeat (rhythm, circulation-of-sorts, action transported to the other "organs"), certainly, and therefore it needs a heart.

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