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2\. The Use of Melodrama
- Another fault to be avoided is the use of melodramatic speech or incident. The
- day is past when readers are thrilled by the sort of diction that charmed
- Pomona of "Rudder Grange," as she read aloud,
- "Ha—Ha—Lord—Marmont—thundered—thou—too—shalt—suffer!" And yet, in "A Scandal
- in Bohemia" we read: "'And the papers?' asked the king, hoarsely; 'all is
- It is difficult to discover a loss of "the papers" without melodramatic
- exclamation; but moderate the speech of your characters at the time of the
- appalling discovery as much as possible.
- Avoid, too, the use of sentiment. Romance is not now referred to; but other
- sentiments which though acceptable in the "story of manners," tend to distract
- the reader of detective fiction. This field recognizes few emotions and no
- moral; and as a human document it depends for its success upon the primitive
- instincts of mankind and the material indications thereof.