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Writing Lectures/Objectives Twenty-Six through Thirty
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The Climax

Definition of Climax: - 1a) the highest point: culmination, 2b) the point of highest dramatic tension or a major turning point in the action

Objective 26 and 27   So at last we're there. This is the climax of the story.  This is the big time where our CC is either going to shine or complete the death spiral and implode before our very eyes.  This is the final test. If the story is comic it ends well and if it's tragic it doesn't.  It's about to resound with a Ya-hoo! or an Oh my Goodness Gracious! 

This vignette is about Chapter 27.  In this one where the Central Character (cc) analyses, assesses and comes to a clear understanding of the final crisis that opposes them.  It is not the climax but rather where the CC sees the last hurdle coming and decides what to do about it.  This is where the reader gets more than a glimmer of what is about to happen, takes a deep breath and prepares themselves for the Climax that will be portrayed in the final chapters. 

Objective 28   This is the moment the reader or audience is waiting for.  It is where the final dilemma is defined and the vista of what is about to take place becomes vividly clear to the reader.  For better or worse the whole matter is going to be resolved. An explosion is about to happen.  This is often referred to as the Last Minute of Suspense or The Climax. The CC will either accept the inevitably of fate or triumph over adversity.

Objective 29 and 30   Now we see the CC in final form, crushed and dying or trumpeting his dominion.  He or she has finally succumbed to all those deficiencies in character or been overwhelmed by forces beyond control or has grown in stature and became the person they wanted to be.  The reader sees this at the end or the audience watches spellbound as the character they rooted for or agonized with, flickers or is born again.  He or she withdraws now from the character he/she briefly became and bids its spirit adieu.

At last comes the resolution. This needs to be dramatized.  Don't go short-changing those who paid to revel in the suffering or triumph of your characters.  Don't drag it out or keep the reader in the dark.  Give the audience the imagery to put the story to rest and go home with something new to talk about.   

Percy Goodfellow - Workshop Instructor
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