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Edgar Allan Poe penned immortal poems, such as â€œThe Ravenâ€ and â€œAnnabel Lee,â€ and unforgettable tales of psychological horror, such as â€œThe Tell-Tale Heart,â€ â€œThe Masque of Red Death,â€ The Cask of Amontillado,â€ and â€œThe Fall of the House of Usher.â€ He was also a prominent literary critic and essayist, as well as the inventor of the detective story.
In a recently-found treatise, he set down the following advice for bettering a story: *
1. Employ an unreliable narrator, preferably one who doesnâ€™t know he is insane and has no recollection of such events as digging into a grave to rip out the teeth of his recently departed lover.
2. Include a beautiful woman with raven locks and porcelain skin, preferably quite young, and let her die tragically of some unknown ailment.
3. Use grandiloquent words, such as heretofore, forthwith, and nevermore. A little Latin will also enhance the text.
4. Do not shy away from such grotesqueries as inebriation, imprisonment, insanity, and men costumed as orangutans being burned to death.
5. When in doubt, bury someone alive.
* Poe didnâ€™t really compose this advice, but, as he was fond of a good hoax, we hope he would be pleased by this affectionate charade.
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