Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is a Climax?

I ripped this one straight from Jim Butcher's blog about writing. If you haven't read Butcher and you like urban fantasy (or even if you don't know the genre), I highly recommend him.



A story climax is, in structure terms the ANSWER to the STORY QUESTION that we talked about earlier.

There, see how tidy that is? Simple! Again, not EASY, but simple!

For example, the overall Story Question of Lord of the Rings:

When Frodo Baggins inherits the Ring of Power from his Uncle Bilbo, HE SETS OUT TO DESTROY IT before its evil can wreak havoc upon Middle Earth. BUT WILL HE SUCCEED when the Dark Lord Sauron and every scary evil thing on the planet set forth to take the ring and use it to turn the entire world into the bad parts of New Jersey?

And the story climax of the Lord of the Rings:


See? ANYBODY could have written Lord of the Rings!

Well. Okay. Maybe it's not THAT easy. But it is SIMPLE to write a good story climax when you bear in mind that ultimately, the story climax is, on its most basic level, the answer to a question. Will the Rebels overthrow the Empire? Will the hero win the heart of the girl he loves? THAT is where you begin. It is therefore kind of important that, before you begin writing said story climax, that you know the answer to that question.

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