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or a chance word be the seed of an idea, but most often

General Methods. “Almost invariably my plots emerge from characters, rather than characters from plots. I doubt if this latter is ever as sound in method except in the detective or picaresque story.
      “I have never based a short story upon a concrete incident, written a character directly from life,’ or, except rarely, incorporated a speech actually heard into dialogue.
      “A situation may suggest the beginnings of a story, or a chance word be the seed of an idea, but most often I find myself puttering around the hypothetical psychology of folks.…
      “Unity of Effect, no matter how the unities must be smashed to attain it, I consider the corner stone of short-story writing. Without it, architectural beauty and continuity of development are impossible.…”
                                    — Fannie Hurst.

in chapter on Fannie Hurst’s “Get Ready the Wreaths,”
in Blanche Colton Williams, How to Study “The Best Short Stories” — “An analysis of Edward J. O’Brien’s annual volumes of the best short stories of the year prepared for the use of writers and other students of the short-story” (Boston: Small, Maybard & Company, 1919) : 109-111 (111) : link
several copies of the above via hathitrust, including NYPL : link

Hurst’s story appears in Gaslight Sonatas (1918) : 229-271 : link (UC copy, hathitrust)

Fannie Hurst (1889-1968)
wikipedia : link

Blanche Colton Williams (1879-1944), literary scholar focusing on the short story, work by women... new to me...
wikipedia : link

20 March 2023