Episode 234 - Climactic Climaxes!

Aug 31, 2015

What's best? One big climax, multiple small ones, early, or delayed? How much should you work UP to a climax? What about anticlmactic events, how important are they? Climaxes are really important in stories. Often you work up to them over the course of a whole series, but each episode or chapter can have them, maybe even every single page. I find writing “up” to climaxes a bit stressful because you have a lot of preasure and expectation there. And when it's over and you've actually achieved it, it can be a bit depressing: where do you go to from there? You can feel a little lost, at least I do. TALKING ABOUT WRITING HERE. My preference is for multiple climaxes. Do you always need climaxes in stories? I don't think you do personally… there are times when things work fine without one, but it does help better with endings. Sometimes climaxes can be TOO big. Way too much of a story can be invested in a climax, it subsumes everything, everything has to tie in with that specific story flow and that can be REALLY had to pull off. If it's not done right it can be massively disappointing. Anticlimactic. Pitface Joins Banes and Ozone to chat about climaxes in stories and read out the contributions from our climactic contributors. Gunwallace gave us a gorgeous theme for Just Another Day!

comment

anonymous?

ejb at 11:27AM, Sept. 1, 2015

On the idea of real world events as stories with "artificial framing." I think that it's always in the framing of time and space that a story can be shaped. Climax and resolution hang on the perspective and scope of the story and its teller. That's true of real or fictional accounts, I'd say.

usedbooks at 6:57AM, Sept. 1, 2015

Interesting discussion. The comparing "real life" to fictional story structures is especially interesting. I realize that long-running webcomic series can often take on the structure of "life" without working actively to a main climax but rather resolving conflicts on the way. Some serials are more artificial, taking the structure of some of the (especially older) American series where each episode resolves a misunderstanding or conflict but only results in a reset of the initial conditions. Others are more realistic to the flow of life (and a soap opera or some more modern sitcom/drama structure) where each episode or arc resolves current/new conflict but also changes the world or the characters. That latter type of writing tends to bring in the cult viewership. Even if you hate soap operas or all the series on HBO or Showtime, people get addicted. They watch because they expect change, because the worls will change, characters will show other sides of themselves, people can die.


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