Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/54

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How to Write a Short Story

But no matter how you tell your story, it must follow the general rule of leading up to a climax. In its broadest sense, this may be illustrated by recalling a good detective or mystery story. It is this very thing that makes the poorly educated read stories; the very thing that makes some people turn to the last chapter in a book before reading the others; the very thing that makes a child urge you to go on and on in telling a story—merely the desire to see how it all comes out, to know why this character did that and that one this, all through the narrative. It is really inborn curiosity, and if a story did not hold out the promise of a denouement or climax very few would read it.

In writing your story, therefore, you must keep this always in mind. Little suggestions whet the reader's appetite and make him eager to go on. These, however, should not be broad. “Little did she think that ere the setting of another sun a great calamity would be upon them.” This method lacks delicacy and is certain to create disgust.