Lil' but Mighty English Blog - Creative Writing

3 Ways to Write A Better Story Climax

Hello, everyone! I’m Miss Genevieve, an English Teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. Today, I’m going to show you 3 ways to write a better story climax. Let’s get started, shall we?

In every story, your main character will encounter a problem or a setback that prevents them from reaching their goal. This part of your story is commonly known as the Climax. It’s also located right at the peak of the Story Mountain because it’s supposed to be the highlight of your story!

To keep your readers engaged and help them visualise your story better, you are encouraged not to jump too quickly from one idea to the next. Now, let’s look at three elaboration ideas that can give your climax a good stretch!

The first elaboration idea is to freeze the moment. Usually, when things don’t go according to plan, we tend to get overwhelmed or stressed out. We feel trapped by a problem and need to take a step back before coming up with a solution. The same applies to the characters in our stories too.

In your story, you can “cast a spell” and trap your characters in a moment. To show you how this works, let’s look at an example.

Let’s say, you’ve been asked to write a story about “a careless mistake.” You’ve selected the picture of an oven.

In your story, your main character was careless because he did not pay attention to the cupcakes his mother was baking. As a result, a fire broke out in his kitchen.

To freeze the moment, describe the fire and how it affected your main character’s mind and body. This offers a snapshot of how he felt trapped and overwhelmed by the situation. An example would be:

“Standing as still as a statue, I tried to calm my anxious nerves. I could feel the intense heat from the burning oven creeping up my body and the heavy smoke clouding my rational mind.”

The second elaboration idea is to create a tough choice for your character to make. In order for a story to be interesting, your main character should be confronted with a difficult decision. Present tough choices for your characters to make so that they need to weigh the pros and cons, or evaluate their actions and consequences.

An easy way to do this, is to include a causation statement such as, “If…then…”. Next, describe what they are worried about and pose a rhetorical question. Let’s use the earlier example to add depth to the problem.

If I do not extinguish the fire soon, then the licking flames will surely consume me! If I choose to battle the fire, I might sustain an injury. What should I do? The perturbation in my mind was indescribable.”

The third elaboration idea is to offer a sneak peek into the future. Depending on the topic, you can choose to present a bleak or optimistic future to your character.

Since I want my character to learn from his careless mistake, I’ll choose to show him a glimpse of an unpleasant consequence.

To do this well, describe the consequence that your main character will have to face in the near future. It will be good if you could include a descriptive sentence to summarise how unpleasant the future looks.

“As I stared helplessly at the fire raging away, images of Mother’s wrath flashed across my mind. She would certainly reprimand me for not keeping a watchful eye on the cupcakes. Unfortunately, the situation was getting worse by the second. The crackling of fire reminded me that I was in the midst of a ticking time-bomb.”

Now, let’s try and put the three strategies together and see how it would appear in the context of a paragraph.

Standing as still as a statue, I tried to calm my anxious nerves. I could feel the intense heat from the burning oven creeping up my body and the heavy smoke clouding my rational mind. If I do not extinguish the fire soon, then the licking flames will surely consume me! If I choose to battle the fire, I might sustain an injury. What should I do? The perturbation in my mind was indescribable. As I stared helplessly at the fire raging away, images of Mother’s wrath flashed across my mind. She would certainly reprimand me for not keeping a watchful eye on the cupcakes. Unfortunately, the situation was getting worse by the second. The crackling of fire reminded me that I was in the midst of a ticking time-bomb.

I hope you found these three elaboration ideas useful. Remember that expanding on the Problem/Climax will help the reader fully visualise what is happening at the most exciting part of the story. This in turn helps him/her engage more fully and become more invested in the story as a whole. For more grammar and storytelling tips, be sure to check out the other videos on our channel. See you soon and take care!


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Ms. Genevieve

Ms. Genevieve has been teaching at tuition centres for six years, specialising in creative writing. She continues to mine fascinating insights from advertising, pop culture, and music to liven up her classrooms. A firm believer that small steps can lead to remarkable results, she is excited to ignite a love for learning with her novel teaching approaches at Lil’ but Mighty.

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