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What Is the Climax of a Story? Everything You

Have you ever noticed that once you get about three-quarters into a book, you have to finish

Learning to write a compelling climax will enormously improve your story—a bad climax can absolutely ruin

Plainly put, the climax is when all of the preceding drama, tension, trials, and conflict culminate in

The climax should be the most dramatic part of your story, and it should be the moment

The climax is the thing we’ve been waiting for, the thing the plot’s been suggesting

Different story structures will place the climax at slightly different points according to that structure

But you can really break all of these down into two major structures: Freytag’s Pyramid and

For both of these structures, the climax happens towards the end of the book, maybe two-thirds or

After the climax, all that’s left is falling action and a resolution

In the three-act structure, it’s a little more straightforward

Act one includes character introductions and exposition and ends with the inciting incident, which kicks the meat

The second act is most of the story, following the character on their journey, and the events

Now that we have a good understanding of what a climax is and where it should fall

For this to work, you need for there to be some conflict in your story in the

One of the key mistakes writers make is neglecting their second act

If the second act is spent sort of randomly, with things happening one after the other without

Have you ever read a book with a strong character and conflict introduction, then a bunch of

We don’t have a clear idea of how the characters got themselves into it, what’s

Everything that happens should happen because of the last thing, and there should be a clear line

Want to really ratchet up the stakes in your climax? Don’t forget the Darkest Hour

Sometimes, a climax flops because there aren’t enough stakes

What does the character have to gain from succeeding or failing in the climax? Why does that

Also, and this goes without saying, your character should be fighting tooth and nail to get through

Anything less, and the reader gets the impression that it’s just not that important

They may not be the central focus, but since everything in your novel should impact the plot,

Let’s talk about “avoids” when it comes to writing a climax—sometimes, knowing what not to

However, there’s a fine line between high drama and melodrama

Melodrama relies heavily on cliche and desensitizes the reader to the actions happening on the page

Similarly, if you have characters sustaining sixteen gunshot wounds without really faltering or one warrior tearing through

If the climax comes and goes without resolving the main story, you’ve not really written a

Sometimes a writer will write a climax based on an outline after the story’s already changed

Again, make sure you can draw a clear line between each point leading up your climax

A climax that comes too early or too late can make the story feel unbalanced

It’s going to be hard for a reader to stay invested that long when the character

We need time to see the characters in the aftermath of the climax

How have they changed? What’s different now? And while we do need a healthy amount of

If the stakes aren’t important, or if the characters don’t seem to care, the story

At the climax of Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers have finally devised a scheme to run

Juliet fakes her own death, but Romeo doesn’t get the memo, and upon discovering her body,

When Juliet wakes and sees what he’s done, she does the same

In Tangled, the climax is when Eugene cuts Rapunzel’s hair to prevent Mother Gothel from stealing

The movie has been about whether Rapunzel can ever escape the tower, and after the climax, she

The climax in Lord of the Rings is Frodo taking the ring, at long last, to Mordor

The scenery is at its most unforgiving, with horrible lava pits and scorching rock

All the while, a huge battle rages outside—not only does Frodo’s life depend on getting

We have Shrek, separated from Fiona, desperate to win her back from the deceptive Prince Charming, storming