Editor Whedon

To be able to see every side of every question;

To be on every side, to be everything, to be nothing long;

To pervert truth, to ride it for a purpose,

To use great feelings and passions of the human family

For base designs, for cunning ends,

To wear a mask like the Greek actors —

Your eight-page paper —behind which you huddle,

Bawling through the megaphone of big type: "This is I, the giant."

Thereby also living the life of a sneak-thief, Poisoned with the anonymous words Of your clandestine soul. To scratch dirt over scandal for money, And exhume it to the winds for revenge, Or to sell papers,

Crushing reputations, or bodies, if need be, To win at any cost, save your own life. To glory in demoniac power, ditching civilization, As a paranoiac boy puts a log on the track And derails the express train. To be an editor, as I was.

Then to lie here close by the river over the place Where the sewage flows from the village, And the empty cans and garbage are dumped, And abortions are hidden.

The pivotal line — "To be an editor, as I was" — and the other lines that follow, make the piece a character study (as opposed to an epigram on editors or a tribute to one named Whedon). In fact, if you end the poem after this line —"And derails the express train" — and title it "Editors," you would have an epigram. However, after that pivotal line above, the reader realizes that these are the pronouncements of an editor on himself, from the grave.

Now that we have an idea about what constitutes dramatic work — a revealing title plus an entity's viewpoint and voice —let's analyze techniques to help you create a dramatic episode and a character study.

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