According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “climax” is:
the most exciting and important part of a story, play, or movie that occurs usually at or near the end
: the most interesting and exciting part of something : the high point
To some the climax comes when the resolution or answer to a quest occurs; while to others it is when the apex of the action occurs.
I’ve learned that whichever it ends up being, everything else in the book has to prepare for that moment. Each chapter needs to be one step towards it. Each scene needs have to an importance to that climax. It is kind of like the compass of the book, the characters are on a journey but they still must stay on course.
The center of the tale is a perilous place where many writers can feel like they’ve lost their way. But if they remember the motivation behind their characters or their end goal, it can help them to get back on track.
When this happens to me I try to ask myself questions, for example:
~Has So&So gotten what they wanted in the beginning?
If not then I ask, what needs to happen before they do?
~Has their problem been resolved yet?
If not then I ask, what events need to occur before that happens?
What do you do to direct your characters towards the climax of their tale?