And, now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The climax
is the pièce de résistance of our gourmet meal of a novel. When we wheel out the
climax and lift the serving dish’s gleaming silver lid, this is the bit that gets
all the “oohs” and “aahs.” The climax of a story should have readers on the
edges of their seats. They should be breathless, tense, and curious to the
point of bursting. If we’ve done our jobs right, they should have a general
idea of what’s coming (thanks to our artful foreshadowing), but they should
also be suffering under the exquisite torture of more than a shade or two of
doubt. What’s gonna happen? Is the hero going to survive? Will he save the
world/his family/the battle/his life in time?
|Ender’s Game wows its readers with a climax that both fulfills the readers’ expectations and surprises them.|
What is the climax?
Where does the climax belong?
Lessons from film and literature
Tell me your opinion: Does your climax fulfill all your promises to your readers?
Related Posts: The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 1: Why Should Authors Care?
The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 7: The Midpoint
The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 8: The Second Half of the Second Act
The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act
Click the “Play” button to Listen to Audio Version (or subscribe to the Wordplay podcast in iTunes).
Story by K.M. Weiland