What’s you’re genre? If you were here last week, you probably already know. You might even have a list of your genre’s characteristics and conventions, what the reader expects to see, experience, and feel, plus a list of how your story–its concept, plot, and characters–fulfills those requirements.
Last week we looked at the opening scene. We gave ’em a taste.
This week we’re laying out the feast.
It’s climax time. Think of the main event your story is leading up to. (The good guy confronts the bad guy, or catches the criminal, or competes in the big event, or proves their love, or whatever.) Take out your genre and fulfillment lists from last week, and brainstorm a new list of all the ways your story can deliver the goods, the feels, the whoas, the wows–in the climax.
No holding back now! How are you going to make sure your story pays off your readers’ expectations and then some? How might you innovate on the goods so that your climactic scene surprises and delights your reader with something familiar yet fresh, fresh, fresh?
It’s time to show Jaws in all his big, bloody, toothy g(l)ory and to find a concept-perfect way for your down-and-out hero to triumph anyway. (Or to fail so we can learn from his mistakes. Or whatever your story’s outcome is.)
Make it big. Make it magnificent. Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm.
Give it a day or two if you need to. Brainstorm.
Then . . . write the scene.
P.S. Don’t shy away from this. It’s surprising how many story’s I’ve beta-read where the writer skimped on or skipped over (!!?!!) the climactic scene. Do not do this. If you’re resistant, afraid, whatever of your story’s climactic scene, then do this prompt. And treat it like a prompt. It’s just a silly prompt. Isolate the scene from the manuscript if that helps. Open a brand new document and title it something low-pressure. (I tend to call mine Something-Something Playground. I’m just playing. No big thing.) Or write out the prompt by hand (in a cheap, nothing notebook–I use the spiral ones you can get for twenty-five cents after school starts back up. Twenty-five cents. If it’s terrible, no biggie, I’ll recycle it).
Make your lists. Play around with it. Make it fun. (Especially make it fun.) But do write the scene.
Book that Inspired this Post plus Some Genre Books
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That’s it for me!
What about you? What do you like to make sure you include in your climactic scenes? Tell us in the comments!
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