Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/60

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How to Write a Short Story

light in her eyes, and said, ever so softly, ‘Yes.’ Then he put his arms around her, and drew her close, and pressed kiss after kiss on her eager lips. And finally, just at twilight, the two walked back to the village, busily planning a little cottage for the future.”

Now, properly this story ends with the word "Yes." What follows is anticlimax, and is the kind of writing that has given rise to the phrase, “sickly sentimentality.”

In the story suggested by the foregoing conclusions, all the ideas are centered on the winning of the girl's hand. Earlier in the tale, perhaps, there has been another lover, and complications and desperate moves. Everything has led up to the proposal and acceptance. All through, the reader has seen what is coming, and has hoped and feared with the hero. The conclusion of all this has been the single word, “Yes.” This, then, is the climax.

Let us look for a moment at what this climax accomplishes. First, it ends definitely the element of suspense. Sec-