P.S. Last Word on That Darned Climax Epiphany

Posted by on Apr 21, 2008 in Writing | 2 comments

Okay, enthused again. Crazy, the ups and downs of my writer’s life. After kvetching this morning (previous post), then getting down to work; after many hours at the computer to semi-fruitful end; after lazing around for awhile, I had a thought. Truly, this one felt like it popped out of a machine in my head. (BigD, you philosopher, you getting my drift?)

It seems I’d only had part one of my epiphany; I needed today’s part two to complete the thought.

It’s this: What I thought to be the logical and realistic scene locations to follow my climax bored the snot right back up into my sinuses. This was the source of my anticlimactic feeling. To think, even in fiction location location location can be everything.

In this case, a shift to an unexpected location (for me, the writer, that is) adds to suspense because my protagonist must act in a surprising way to get us to that location. But not out-of-character; in fact, more in character given his current emotional turmoil and stymied circumstances.

And, relating this back to this morning’s post: I see what I’m doing with suspense here. It’s not whodunit-plot-twist related; the added suspense comes straight out of character. I’m not against twists, don’t get me wrong, but for this story I do indeed want the answers to the questions I posed this morning to be “yes.”

This is the first time a shift in location (rather than, say, changing the point of view character, delaying a revelation, or cutting a useless scene) solved a story snafu. By golly, I’ve learned something! Now, this possibility will always be in my repertoire.

2 Comments

  1. Yeah, drifting right along beside you.

    Remember, I didn’t discount the ol’ subconscious, just made a point of emphasizing the role of that delightfully useful other part, the one too often misrepresented and ignored, which we sometimes call the conscious mind but which many, it seems, would like not to call at all.

    On the other side, I have known real people who try to rise “above” having a subconscious. The character of Spock comes to mind. Not very likable people, I must say, and not very interesting at all.

    I’ll go one step further: A writer who’s out of touch with his subconscious might want to consider a job in sales.

  2. I’ll tell you this much: Our talks have definitely stretched my brain!

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