Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to write a better Climax

In every story there are certain elements:  Plot, Character, Conflict, Theme, Setting.  

You have to build up the conflict to make the climax feel real.  The Climax is the part of the plot, where the conflict is resolved.

It is “The point of greatest intensity or force in an ascending series or progression; a culmination.”-as described by the free online dictionary.
Now, we all know what a climax is, but how do you write it? How can you make it better? You don’t want it to be anticlimactic. Ive written before on the beginning of the novel, but now lets focus on the end.

Things you need in order to have a great climax:
1.       First things first- you have to have good characters. Before you can have tension or conflict, you have to have someone that it involves. If the reader has no emotional investment in the characters, then the tension or conflict is nonexistent or not important.
So make sure to have fully developed characters. The protagonist needs to have the right motivation, and this motivation needs to be
very apparent to the readers. Why is the protagonist fighting for this win?? On the other hand, the opponent needs to be well matched. The Protagonist cannot win just because he is better than the antagonist, and the antagonist cannot be SO much better that its unlikely or impossible for the protagonist to win.
2.       Setting- you have to explain the where and when everything is happening. Show the reader where they are fighting, and where they are going. Show the reader When this is happening. Is it day or night, is it hot or cold, is it north, south, east or west? If you can create the setting, you can build the tension.
3.       Make the Stakes high- Explain WHY winning is important. What happens if the Protagonist doesn’t win? Will she lose her family? Will she lose her life? Will the world end? What happens? The bigger the stakes, the more tension you can create.
4.       Make things worse, before you can make them better- Throw in all sorts of obstacles that make it harder for the Protagonist to win. Take away her choices and options. Make it harder for her to come out on top.
5.       BUT- at the same time, Avoid general conflict- Don’t make things harder just because, make every obstacle directly relate to the ultimate goal. Make every obstacle that happens harder for the protagonist to ultimately complete her goal.
6.       And finally- Create a twist- Make the unexpected happen- You spend the whole story building tension and conflict to eventually lead up to this climax- don’t make the expected happen. You can still give a good ending, but give it a twist. Make something happen that makes the reader gasp and think, “never saw that coming.”
And that’s how you make a good climax J

Good luck and HAPPY WRITING



5 comments:

  1. I like how you put characters first, even on a list that's largely about writing a climax. I'm in agreement with you, of course, but I'd go so far as to say that without good characters, you might as well not even write a story...at least, that's my typical mindset.

    That aside, thanks for the list. Always nice to see someone else's "rules to write by" take form.

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  2. Brilliant points to remember. :D

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  3. This is why I can't write about writing. My advise would be something like- 'You will feel it' or something like that.

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  4. Excellent advice! Thanks for reminding me of these in such a comprehensive way!

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