First, What Is A Climax?

A climax is the pinnacle of rising action (as you learned in high-school). But what the hell does that mean?

The main character, in pursuit of the story’s goal, arrives at an event or situation. At this point, your character must make a decision or do something that will result in determining whether your goal is achieved or not. More precisely, your character decides whether or not to change.

Your character up to this point in the story has slogged through the plot with a particular style or set behavior. The climax challenges your character to change that behavior or even a personality trait (this trait can be a help or a hinder).

The way in which your character decides to overcome this situation using that trait or method may be the right or wrong way. Through the course of the plot, they overcome the set requirements and develop their skills along the way. This potentially gives them an alternative way of solving the problem presented by the climax.

However, when the going gets tough and you put your main character in the tightest possible situation, your character must either choose to change a behavior, adopt a new behavior, or stick to his old way of doing things. Each decision he makes can result positively or negatively.

 

There are really only four outcomes for a climax:

The Four Types Of Climaxes

 

1. At the climax of a Comedy, the main character achieves success by either…

  1. Sticking with a good trait/behavior
  2. Giving up a bad one
  3. Taking on a good one

2. At the climax of a Tragedy, the main character fails because he…

  1. Sticks with a bad trait/behavior
  2. Gives up a good one
  3. Takes on a bad one

3. At the climax of a Tragi-Comedy, the main character fails to achieve his goal, but it ends up being a good thing because he…

  1. Sticks with a good trait/behavior
  2. Gives up a bad one
  3. Takes on a good one

4. At the climax of a Comi-Tragedy, the main character achieves success, but it turns out to be a bad thing because he…

  1. Sticks with a bad trait/behavior
  2. Gives up a good one
  3. Takes on a bad one

 

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