This can be approximately the last 25% of the story. It is where the reader needs to have an emotionally strong ending.

Definition of Story Climax

  1. The part of the story to where all the suspense, drama, rising action and tension have been leading.
  2. The place where the incidents and events of the story are the most dramatic.
  3. The story point when the protagonist (hero, main character) completes his character arc, and completes his character growth.
  4. The point in the story where everything changes, the problem is solved or the attempts to solve it have failed.
  5. The climax leads to the resolution after the conflict has been dealt with, the part of the story where all loose ends are tied up.

Genre Variations for a Story Climax

  1. Romance: The obstacles keeping the couple apart are finally overcome.
  2. Thriller: The final battle.
  3. Detective Story: The moment when the murderer is revealed.
  4. Western: When the Cavalry (Western good guy) comes riding in to save the day.

Elements of a Strong Climax

  1. The protagonist’s personal principle is tied to the external conflict in order to heighten the emotional and psychological levels.
  2. The protagonist’s choices are narrowed down, giving him two possible courses of action to test his character.
  3. If the protagonist takes the easy way to attain his external goal, then he sacrifices his personal principles.
  4. If the protagonist stays with his personal principles, he sacrifices his external goal.
  5. The protagonist can be forced to face who he thought he was and see who he has become.

Elements of the Resolution

  1. Rewarding the protagonist for making the hard choice, for self-sacrificing
  2. Punishing the protagonist for acting selfish
  3. Having an outside source rescue the protagonist, after having shown the reader that he is worthy of a happy ending
  4. Showing how the protagonist has changed (grown) from the beginning of the story
  5. Giving a satisfying end to the major storyline
  6. Give an adequate ending to every character in the story

© 2010 Starla Kaye

The Smarts Button

This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.