1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Climax percent

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Sep 15, 2015.

    Thinking about this in more detail. I might be wrong on what I am thinking is a climax. The issue is I pretty sure my climax is going to have a high percentage of the word count. 30-40% Which seems way to high. Thinking about it. I wonder if the premise is wants the climax to be that high or not.

    So the premise.
    Our young MC witnesses a murder and is targeted by a terrorist network. She first doesn't realize it, has some lucky breaks and tries hiding. This being the opening establishment sub-plot ext. Then, she gathers up some friends and decides to take the fight to the bad guy! Which is the raid! I call the scene the raid. lol. So in my head the raid feels like the climax. We are in enemy terroritory! Friends and family were some of the only help you could get, so they are in danger. Fighting for their lives! Action whooo! Yet is it bad if it takes up such a big chunk of the book?

    One reason it takes up such a big chunk is our get seperated and I am going to do a POV Shift to all the heroes. But it is all action it is all different. Some win some lose. I am just wondering. Am I over thinking this or have found a problem I need to fix?

    Tagging people that are awesome!
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  2. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on what the full length of the piece is going to be. You also have to be sure that the 'raid' section/chapters? escalates in it's own way until resolution. If the most awesome part of the raid happens right off the bat and the rest is mediocre at best in comparison then, you've got a real problem. It should be as awesome as you can possibly make it, outdoing itself as much as possible, with the creme of the crop presented closer to the resolution.

    That is a very basic outline for a climax and not the only one either. Just the most common. It's length doesn't matter as long as you keep this in mind. Then people can consider part of the 'raid' sequence as the actual climax, while others would consider the whole thing as the climax. Redline would be a good example of a 'long' climax. The whole Redline Race is the climax of the movie, but it outdoes itself during the race many times until it's finished, and the movie ends right after the climactic ending of the race, leaving less than a few seconds for the resolution. The climactic ending of the race still might not compare to the dramatic scenes that happened during the race, but they sure tried.

    I think a lot of people would argue over exactly what scene is the climax in Redline, or which one was the most climactic, but it doesn't lessen how awesome of a thrill the entire thing is. I guess in it's truest sense, the dramatic scenes right before the resolution are the climax, no matter how much you try and draw it out. Although I think long dramatic climaxes are epic. Gives you a feel of an amazing lengthy battle, where parties are exhausted and at their limits. Everyone pulls their final trump cards out and a final showdown with everything on the line ensues.

    plus if your just developing this story, you could increase the length of the stuff before the 'raid scene' to help with the climax chapter's set up or w/e. make everything fit like a puzzle piece and imagine their hopes and dreams, risen, crushed, and then risen again.(Rinse and repeat until satisfied.) Hope this helps :)
     
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  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't consider the raid the climax. I would consider the raid the build-up. The climax is the final battle -- bad guy vs good guy -- win or lose -- no more second chances.

    So the raid would just be normal tension, building up to the climax. The climax would be the end of the raid -- whether the bad guy gets captured, the girl gets killed, whatever. Just remember that your story should be constantly getting higher in tension. Chapter five should have more tension than chapter one. Chapter twenty should have more tension than chapter ten. Then after the climax, the resolution starts and things mellow out. So if the beginning of the raid is more intense than the end of it, I'd say you have a problem.

    Otherwise, write it how it should happen. Don't condense a huge scene and make it happen too fast just because you don't want it to be too long. But also don't stretch it out just to add words. As long as you write it correctly, there's nothing wrong with how you're doing it.
     
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  4. rainy_summerday
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    rainy_summerday Active Member

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    You are too kind, GuardianWynn :)

    To me, it sounds like your story's basic structure is as following:
    • Exposition - introduction of the heroes and the problem that forces them into action
    • Climax - reaction to the problem
    • Resolution

    The plot evolves around the events rather than the characters. Therefore it makes sense to focus on the climax rather than on the exposition. To me, 30-40 % sounds good, but from your description, I dare say you might end up with an even higher percentage. I don't think it's a problem. Your heroes are actually rather passive until the raid, right? Because they are unaware of why the MC is targeted, and then it's about protecting themselves. The raid is their active response to the threat. Dedicating a large part of your novel to the raid will improve your characterisation, because it is an action that requires some form of inner motivation. Most people will hide to stay alive. But not all will risk their lives and step into the lion's den. Your characters turn from reaction to action of their own choice.

    I agree with Megalith. You should consider in advance how you wish to structure the raid. This might pose a greater threat to the success of your project than the question of climax length.
     
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  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Currently I am just about to start the raid or the journey to the raid.

    So I expect the raid will start at 35k and I expect the raid to be finished by 60k. Though I probably need to add more content before. Fine detail is one of my weaknesses. So I figured at guessing maybe exending all the scenes after I finish the first draft might bump me up to 45k at the raid with the book finishing on 75k. That is my guess. Does that sound bad?

    Yeah you are right of course the last fight is the most interesting one I hope. lol

    Fair point. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    Everyone here is so nice. I like your mind. Would you at all be against me picking it in more detail in a private message?
     

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