Friday, December 21, 2012

The Secret to Strengthening Your Climactic Scene

Now, the world might end before this post goes up, but I'm going to write it JUST IN CASE. Look at me, going above and beyond. Be proud of me, anti-procrastination gods.

If you think your climax is missing that punch, if you feel your climax needs to be epic, or if you just want a darn good climax (I'm talking about writing, you perverts), heed this secret:

If you want to strengthen your climax, use preparation.

Preparation? What does preparation mean?

Here is one amazing example:

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is enrolled in a tournament which has three parts to it. Almost the ENTIRE book is spent preparing for the last leg of the race; everything revolves around it. But, neither Harry nor Hermione knows what would really happen in the third leg. Rowling spends a good deal of the book simply gathering excitement for it.

The reader knows something will happen in the last leg. The reader knows something big and something unexpected will happen even if the characters don't know it themselves; this gathers nervous steam for the climax.

Now, making this work requires having your climactic scene coincide with a big event in your novel; the last leg is the climactic scene in Goblet of Fire. This coinciding trick makes the reader anxious for the event to come. It is like seeing a man far in the distance running towards you. Whether the man carries a knife or a gift, you don't know, but you are still nervous for his arrival.

Make the reader anxious for the arrival of the climactic scene. That idea is the base for this secret.

In my own novel, the climactic scene coincides with the 700th birthday of the most important person in the city. It is a huge, huge deal; this guy literally built the city. There is a good bit of the characters talking about this event and preparing, and this goes a long way; the reader begins to get nervous for the event.

That is what the writer has to accomplish. Make the reader nervous and excited for the climax and your book into a simmering pot. Make the reader unable to stop reading even if there are 'relaxing' scenes in your novel. Make the reader pick the book up again after putting it down.

And, make them excited/anxious.

Hope I helped, guys!

What are your favorite plot techniques?



  1. Most of my third book is a build up to a big event. Can't say what though, that would spoil the surprise.

  2. you were definitely helpful and a vast of great information and must use!!! happy holidays!

  3. I love to foreshadow. Hopefully it's subtle, but not too subtle to where it wasn't realized.