Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Novel Climax

As I plan out my next manuscript I'm thinking a lot about the final climax. When should the climax come? How big should it be etc.... It made me wonder when I prefer the climax to be. Do I like it to be on the last page with little or no story after it, or do I prefer there to be a scene or two following the climax so we can see everyone is happy or all is okay?

Let's look at both extremes: (spoliers)

Romeo and Juliet. The climax is obviously when they both die. The story basically ends there, there can be no happy ending or anything else. Their deaths kill the story. But man, what an ending. Sudden, unexpected and you'll be thinking about it for weeks.

Twilight's Breaking Dawn. Is there a climax in this? Without an actual fight happening, Breaking Dawn sort of just ends with the Voltaire leaving with their tails between their legs and then we get the super gooey romantic stuff between Edward and Bella, with the added little twist of Bella's new power. Personally I loved all that gooey stuff and like Romeo and Juliet still thought about it for weeks.

How important is it that the climax is big and unexpected?
 What are your favourite books and how important was the climax to you enjoying it?


  1. Great post.

    I am so a fan of the climax and then a few chapters of gooey stuff. I really hate being left wanting more. I NEED that final happy ending scene to be truly satisfied.

    But I also need a nail biting climax. I want that tension and high emotion running through my system as I read. It makes the gooey stuff at the end so much more enjoyable. I feel like I've earned it :)

    1. Totally agree. The gooey stuff makes it for me!! It's what I'm waiting for :-)

  2. I also like to have a little wrap-up at the end. I don't need the climax to be totally unexpected, and sometimes I know it because I read the book reviews. But that doesn't bother me--usually.

  3. Oh - I most definitely like a decent climax at the end of the book. Give me a story that takes me on a journey with the characters... that with each page it feels as though the 'story spring' is getting wound tighter and tighter to further you read, and then how me the climax. I love being able to finally release that long bated breath at the end of the book with a satisfied sigh.