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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


Helen M Walters explores an F Scott Fitzgerald classic to illustrate how to engage readers and evoke a time and place


At nearly 9,000 words, Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F Scott Fitzgerald is quite a long short story, and because it’s got a relatively high word count the author has been able to paint a bigger picture on a broader canvas than some of the other stories we have studied in this series of masterclasses. As you read it, you’ll find yourself being immersed in a totally different world, which has been carefully and skilfully created by the writer. And, as always, there are spoilers ahead, so make sure you read it first, at

Notice how the first few paragraphs literally set the scene for the reader as though they are observing a play being acted out in front of them. We can almost see the circle of wicker chairs and ladies with lorgnettes as they look down on the young dancers below.

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About Writing Magazine

Want to make sure your readers are hooked from the start? In this month's Writing Magazine, learn how to grab your readers' attention and keep it all the way to the end. • Have you completed a first draft? We show you how to polish it to perfection. • Would your life make a good story? We show you how to transform your inspiring ideas into writing material. • Read how our star interview, Lisa McInerney, went from blogger to bestseller. • Find out about the latest writing opportunities and win £51,579 in writing prizes!

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