Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Plot & Climax

Remember when I wrote that I wasn't sure exactly what the climax of my story was because my first draft was crap and fell apart toward the end (as usual) and then I wondered about the plausibility of a particular story line anyway?

I am in the home stretch of this revision, so to speak (about 23, 000 words to go) and because the first draft falls apart at this stage, I've had to think harder about how to wrap it up and end it. I worry that the story threads are predictable, cheesy, feel unrelated to other aspects of the story or are just plain bad. 

But I've been most worried about the climax. It has to happen naturally. It can't seem forced. The rest of the story has to build to it then lead out of it. It's a big deal and I don't know that I've ever written an effective climactic scene. 

Book the First didn't really have a peak. The first incarnation of this book had a neat climax purely because it was a romance--obviously, the hero and heroine are in danger, but they also realize how much they mean to each other in those scenes. 

I read an article on Writer's Digest which has helped me decide how to approach this important portion of my novel. It's called 4 Ways to Improve Plot/Climax in Your Writing. And it's actually a helpful, clear article. 

The article says that the climax actually has four components: 

  1. The run-up to the climactic moment (last-minute maneuvering to put the pieces in their final positions)
  1. The main character’s moment of truth (the inner journey point toward which the whole story has been moving)
  1. The climactic moment itself (in which the hero directly affects the outcome)
  1. The immediate results of the climactic moment (the villain might be vanquished, but the roof is still collapsing). 

Reading this succinct article has actually helped me think of the components and identify which scenes correspond to which parts of the climax. What do you guys think? How did you learn how to plot? 

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