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Thread: The Climactic Ending

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    But something has gone wrong with the plan. Luke's first attempt to bomb the vent using the targeting computer failed. He only has one chance left (which increases the tension) and in that moment he truly accepts the force and chooses to trust in it. That's the basic change that Luke goes through on his journey. It could be argued that that moment is the story's true climax, everything else is just window dressing.
    Right. Think about this. The Death Star can destroy entire planets, it's in the hands of evil people, and Luke is the last chance to destroy it and he's down to his last shot. And he destroys the Death Star! And that might be just window dressing?

    Terry points out that a moment before that could be argued to be the true climax. I don't know what to call it or why it works. But it's a great moment.

    There must be other stories that do this, right? A moment of change. Awareness. Some shift in momentum. Some stories don't have the potential, I know. It's just something to look for. I imagine James Bond, about to die, and we hear him say to himself, "Q, I owe you a drink." Then he uses the weapon Q gave him.
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; December 15th, 2018 at 09:40 PM. Reason: Accurcay. that's just --> that might be just.
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  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Terry points out that a moment before that could be argued to be the true climax. I don't know what to call it or why it works. But it's a great moment.

    There must be other stories that do this, right? A moment of change. Awareness. Some shift in momentum.
    Romantic Comedies do this all the time: the protagonist comes to a realization that the love interest is who they've wanted/needed all along.

    What follows afterward (the standard "race to the airport" scene, which is usually followed by a public declaration of love, which is then followed by a big swoony kiss) is just the story's reward for the character learning their lesson.

    Just like the Death Star exploding is Luke's reward for learning to trust in the Force.

    The climactic moment is usually where the protagonists dig down deep inside themselves to make a choice that they would've never made until now. After that, it's just a matter of seeing how the story rewards (or punishes) their choice.

    In the film The Wrestler, the story ends at the climactic moment. The protagonist has to make a choice: choose wrestling, or choose love. He makes his choice and the movie ends without showing what happens next, leaving it up to the viewers to decide whether or not he made the right choice.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbeast32 View Post
    I like it when books give you a clear idea of where the climax will take place, but gives you no clue as ti why that place or time is important, and what exactly will hapen there. I've been binging Robert Jordan as of late, and I've noticed he employs that technique in most of his books.
    Example? This sounds interesting
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  4. #44
    Luke is trying to destroy the Death Star. As I remember it, enemy fighter jets are on his tail, set to stop or destroy him. Then someone from his side appears, shoots down the enemy fighters, and Luke goes forward.

    That, as far as I know, is normal for a climactic scene: Some (unexpected) obstacle, thwarting the plan, something the MC has to overcome. In my opinion, putting one of those into the climactic scene is good writing. Three of them and I will start to lose interest.

    And it would have been a forgettable part of the movie except Hans Solo came back to shot down the enemy fighter jet. We were told he wasn't helping. I fell for that. They set that up wonderfully -- early on Hans talks about just being for himself. I was disappointed when he didn't help; I thought he was better than that.

    I would rank that as one of the best moments in the climactic scene, even better than the actual destruction of the Death Star.

    So, what if the best moment in your final climactic scene shouldn't be the final victory? I actually don't think that's always true, it depends on the scene and the final victory. And everything wants different things. But anyone can do victory. There can be more.
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  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    So, what if the best moment in your final climactic scene shouldn't be the final victory? I actually don't think that's always true, it depends on the scene and the final victory. And everything wants different things. But anyone can do victory. There can be more.
    I was thinking of the movie Independence Day, when they use the virus to take down the shields culminating in a climactic victory over the spaceship only to then cut to the mother ship where Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are trapped. The moment where they escape just in time before the nuclear warhead goes off is the final victory, and definitely climactic in a sense, but it still felt like a kind of post script. At that point we knew how this was going to go and had already seen the aliens basically wiped out.

    But...to bring it back to writing, I'm not sure this kind of double-up really translates to many good books. I don't think I have ever read anything good that consisted of two similar kinds of victory one after another. Sometimes you will have the big picture climax - the army victorious - separated from the personal climax - one sniper taking out another - but its not common.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    Some (unexpected) obstacle, thwarting the plan, something the MC has to overcome. In my opinion, putting one of those into the climactic scene is good writing.
    Fixed below:

    Some (unexpected) obstacle, thwarting the plan, something the MC has to overcome. Putting one of those into every possible scene is good writing.



    (Of course, you'll want to vary the intensity and nature of the obstacles so things don't get repetitive. Sometimes they're physical. Sometimes they're emotional. Sometimes they're related to logistics. Sometimes they're literal life or death . . .)

  7. #47
    Member DarkGhost's Avatar
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    a great climax for a movie is Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, high stakes? Check! Showdown between MC and baddie? Check! Do other Characters get their own share of the action? Check! Expectation subversion? Check! (If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's when Lane gets locked in the box with the entire IMF just standing and watching.)

    To me there has to be something different about the climax. Just one thing, big or little could mean the difference of a great climax, or a crappy one.
    The Greatest Teacher, Failure is!

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