How to make that final showdown unforgettable


ALMOST EVERY NOVEL has a climax near the end of the book. This is when all the plot strands come together and the heroine (or hero) faces her greatest challenge. The tension is so high that the reader perches on the edge of her seat, unable to tear herself away from the story’s action.

Here are some tips how to give your readers an unforgettable climax.

* Don’t rush the climax. This is what the reader has been waiting for. Spread it out over a whole scene, perhaps even several scenes.

* The protagonist (hero/heroine) and the antagonist (villain) face each other in a final showdown. They are not equally matched: The villain is prepared, knows the terrain and has better weapons while the heroine is injured, exhausted and unarmed.

* Raise the stakes. During this final showdown, a lot is at stake, for example the heroine’s survival, the lives of loved ones, the existence of an endangered species, the future of the planet and world peace.

* Increase the excitement by adding an element of danger. Does your heroine have a phobia? Perhaps she is scared of fire, of heights or of snakes. Whatever frightens her, if she has successfully avoided it during the novel, during the climax she must confront her fears. The only way to survive and to rescue her loved ones is to enter the burning building, to scale the cliff or to jump into the snake pit.

* Choose an unusual location, perhaps one which is weird or dangerous – or both. How about a derelict rollercoaster, the rainforest canopy, a sinking cruise ship, a cable car dangling above an abyss, a dam about to burst, or an abandoned mineshaft?


If you have questions or want to discuss your ideas how to make your climax scene exciting, post a comment. I’ll be around for a week and will reply. I love answering questions!

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