Page:How to write a Short Story.djvu/63

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Conclusion and Climax

The true story should also be avoided. Here, again, it is the conclusion that causes a good share of the trouble. In real life, it is next to impossible to find a narrative that ends as you and the editor would wish. To make it artistic at all, you must put in a generous seasoning of the untrue and transform the climax altogether.

The conclusion of any story is worthy of the very best efforts of a writer. It is really the story itself, for it embraces the climax, or culmination of the plot. Nine times out of ten, your whole story may be discovered by reading your last paragraph or two. It takes but a glance at this point to indicate its nature.

If you will keep always in mind the fact that the editor studies your conclusions to see whether the story proper is worth an examination, it is probable that you will see to it that this part has merit. It is the conclusion, remember, that leaves the taste in the reader's mouth, and makes him decide whether or not the story is worth while. If you end tritely, he will characterize your