Want to know more about this blog and its purpose? Hit this link or the “Home” tab at the top.
How bad does it have to get, in a novel, before all heck breaks loose? As you reach the climax of a book, the situation usually gets worse and worse. That’s called rising action. When the fecal matter actually hits the fan–when the protagonist’s conflicts have gotten as bad as they’re gonna get–that’s called the climax. After things start to get better, that’s called falling action–but that doesn’t usually happen until you’ve pretty much reached the end of the book.
So where are you in your novel? Are things starting to get exciting? Does the excitement seem to be building?
List five things that have happened in your book so far, that have been building excitement, creating rising action, toward the climax. End this post comment by predicting what will happen when your book’s rising action reaches the climax.
Here’s an example from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island:
- A captain showed up at the Admiral Benbow Inn, and he seemed to be worried that somebody might find him there.
- A pirate-like guy named Black Dog showed up at the Admiral Benbow Inn and got in a sword fight with the captain.
- The captain told Jim to go and get his friend, the doctor, if anything bad happened.
- The captain died.
- Jim found a bundle of papers wrapped in oilcloth at the bottom of the captain’s sea chest.
- I predict that when this novel reaches its climax, the bundle of papers will turn out to be a treasure map, and a bunch of pirates will show up wanting their treasure.
Here’s a YouTube video about story structure that might help a lot: