How to Build Climax in Fiction Writing

We have all been there before, completely engrossed into a story, watching as each character and plotline merge, coming to a head and an inevitable conflict that you have been anticipating for so long. This is called the Climax, and is the most exciting and meaningful part of the story, where everything, all the issues and plot points merge for a final finale that dictates the final victor of an opposing conflict. Though this victory does not have to be absolute, there does have to be some kind of conflict that takes place and a victory, even if it is just a small one. Much like the movie ‘Star Wars,’ a popular Sci-fi that started off as a fiction book written by George Lucas. In the famous climax of the movie, Luke Skywalker blows up the evil empire’s Death Star, a space station capable of destroying an entire planet. Though there is a temporary victory for the rebel forces, the reality is that the empire is vast and powerful, with thousands of planets and governments backing their actions. So in reality, a good climax may be the end of one plot, but only the beginning of another, as the evil empire is certain to seek revenge for Luke blowing up their expensive star station.

Daryl Harrison

Daryl Harrison

Building up to a good climax is about progressing the action, bringing it up one step at a time that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The most important aspect of a good climax is assuring that all building pressures that you have been mounting are purged. You don’t want to leave anything unexplained or incomplete. The only exception to that rule is when you want to leave a cliffhanger. Even in this case you want the pressure purged, but perhaps left not fully explained, like an enemy escapes a fight, disappearing into the night.

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