The climax of a story is when the conflict is resolved or when the main character (MC) goal is achieved. The climax usually occurs towards the end of the story. To make an epic story the resolution or the climax should be difficult to make the story impactful and the resolution believable.
I’ve read books where the climax could have been solved from the time the conflict was presented. I’ve also read books that the climax was so complicated but the resolution was extremely easy. These books left me like ‘what! really.’
5 Tips on how to build to your climax
1. Balance of power.
What I mean is that the MC should be the underdog. The readers should question the MC’s ability to complete the task. Although, your MC shouldn’t be written to the point that he/she is so fragile, had no clue they were the chosen one, or can’t really use their powers. This makes me think of the Matrix Neyo wasn’t a fragile character, he was very inquisitive, smart, and outgoing. What he lacked was confidence. Everyone knew he was the one but he needed to believe he was the one. We see his struggle and his thought process throughout the Matrix Series and all of that ramped up to the anticipation.
What I mean is that don’t make your MC too much of a wimp. Your MC should fit the role of the hero but should have a clutch in order for his task to be meaningful and saving the universe to be epic.
2. Despicable villain
The villain must be lethally bad or the obstacles must be despicable and rising to its peak at the climax. The villain must surpass the MC’s capabilities in order for the readers to be at the edge of their seat when they read about the struggles that the MC is encountering.
The reader has been led to believe from the beginning that the villain is the worst there is and having the MC defeat the villain easily is disheartening and the reader will get disappointed.
This is why in many action/adventures, thrillers, fantasy, crime, and almost every genre where drama lurks has villains that are 10 times ahead of the MC or are stronger in some way.
This adds tension and a sense of how is the MC going to defeat this villain to the readers.
3. Doubting the win
The villain should be at the point where they are going to win. The MC should almost die, or almost lose their lover, or doubt their ability to the point in which the reader is upset that the villain is winning. When the MC works hard to win instead of succeeding really quickly is highly enjoyed by readers. This will in part display the MC’s growth throughout the story.
The climax is an excellent place to add that shocker or plot twist. The reader was expecting one thing but the writer gave them another curveball.
The best climax will have the reader shouting, gasping, cursing, or crying while they read.
I added this element in my book and every beta reader suggested the exact same thing, which was the emotion I wanted my readers to have when I added that scene there.
5. Epic climax
This needs to be epic. This is the major and most important part of the story and it needs to be everlasting. The climax should evoke some sort of emotion while they read it. The climax should be the most intense part of the story. If you have a subplot that has been solved and it was epic then the climax needs to surpass any other reveals or shocking moment in the story.
The climax is one of the most important parts of the novel and it should be the most epic and memorable.
Let me know in the comment how you plan to write your climax.