1. CodyThomas
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    CodyThomas New Member

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    Plot and climax

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CodyThomas, Mar 8, 2013.

    So, I'm currently halfway through my first novel. Unfortunately, I'm kind of stuck. I'm having problems coming up with the climax.

    I know what I want it to be. There are two main ideas, each represented by a secondary character. My main character has to choose between the two characters and therefore the two ideas. I want them all to come to a head, where the MC is forced to choose a side. I just cant figure out the action or events that would cause this to happen.

    Here's some details. My novel is science fiction and it deals with a group of scientists exploring a new planet in search of a cure for cancer. They find it, but one side of the group doesn't want to send it back to Earth because they believe that if cancer is cured humans will just go back to fighting each other. The other side see's hope in mankind, and wants to send the cure home.

    I'm not looking for specific ideas (though if you want to give me some, go ahead). I'm mostly looking for advice on how to build good climaxes and what you might have done in your own novels. I'm stuck becasue I'm supposed to be building towards a climax and I'm not even sure what that will be. I know the idea, just not the action that represents those ideas.
     
  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you can tell us what your idea for an ending is, maybe we can help you come up with an action to achieve it.

    How do you see this story ending - I mean, which of these two choices do you see winning out? I presume if you're halfway there, you must have some strong characters and some scenarios in place. What I don't want to do is write your story for you, but I'd be happy to give you input on how to achieve the story ending you want to write. Can you give us some more information?

    Specifically - Are these scientists all working together, up to now? Are they in a laboratory on the planet's surface, or working out of a ship orbiting the planet? Does the 'cure' involve some substance taken from the planet? If so, what is it, and how do the scientists extract it? Or is it residing in living creatures on the planet? Have the scientists already had formal disagreements about this issue, or is it just simmering away in the background. Is there character conflict - something like two scientists who are married to each other, but are coming down on different sides of this issue? The more we know about where you are now with this story, the more we can help you move forward.
     
  3. rodereve
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    rodereve Member

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    -maybe the protagonist has loved ones that require the cure, and its time sensitive so he's forced to make the choice

    -maybe he finds out one of his mates has ulterior motives, such as rallying for the cure to be sent to Earth, but really in hopes of making a huge profit off it

    -maybe one of the sides tries to steal the cure away, and in doing so kills one of the opposing characters in the pursuit

    just ideas off the top of my head, but usually if you continue the tension buildup, violence ensues
     
  4. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    I agree, knowing the end is a big help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  5. Sanjuricus
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    Sanjuricus Active Member

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    I humbly suggest putting the MC in a situation in which, on face value, it looks like he has no other possible choice but choice A. However, he will choose choice B for X reason which will be the cause of more conflict. The conclusion would be that choice being enacted irrevocably.

    Having said that, I agree with Mr RoadFilms above me. I think you already have the answers and they just haven't clicked into place yet. It might help to write both endings, I dare say you'll get as far as writing the first before you know for sure what the ending should be because you'll either be happy with it or know that the other choice is the one. :)
     
  6. CodyThomas
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    CodyThomas New Member

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    You had it right on.

    I didn't do a summary before I began, I just had it in my head (I've never been big on outlines), and I realized that was a mistake. As soon as I wrote up an outline/summary I had a chance to look at all the moving parts as a big picture, and it clicked.

    I won't write a novel without building an outline and summary after this.

    Thanks for you're help!
     
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  7. CodyThomas
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    CodyThomas New Member

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    I honestly hadn't even thought of what the ending would be at that point. I was hoping it would just come to me, organically, as I wrote. I realized that wasn't going to work and wrote out an outline for myself. As soon as I looked at the whole story, with all it's moving parts, the climax and ending fell into place.

    Thanks for your reply!
     
  8. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    Bingo. Now you know what to go do. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016

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