The climax is the most exciting part of the story, the part that everything else has led up to.
Your readers should be expecting the climx, through a build up in tension.
You can use the following things to indicate a tension and lead up to your climax.
- Dramatic verbs to add action
- Sound words including onomatopoeia
- Short description of character emotion
- Short sentences to increase the speed in the preceding sentences.
- Slower speed for climatic sentence. (for instance using repetition or long verb sounds)
- (avoid long descriptions, too many adjectives or summarising previous events.)
Read the extract from the novel ‘Lord of the Flies.’
A group of boys are killing a sow (female pig)
Identify the the: rising tension, climax and falling tension. Identify the features mentioned above.
They surrounded the covert but the sow got away with the sting of another spear in her flank. The trailing butts hindered her and the sharp, cross-cut points were a torment. She blundered into a tree, forcing a spear still deeper; and after that any of the hunters could follow her easily by the drops of vivid blood. They were just behind her when she staggered into an open space where bright flowers grew and butterflies danced round each other and the air was hot and still.
Here, struck down by the heat, the sow fell and the hunters hurled themselves at her. This dreadful eruption from an unknown world made her frantic; she squealed and bucked and the air was full of sweat and noise and blood and terror. Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing down with his knife. Roger found a place in the pigflesh for his point. The spear moved forward inch by inch and the terrified squealing became a high-pitched scream. Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed under them.
At last the immediacy of the kill subsided. They boys drew back, and Jack stood up, holding out his hands.
He giggled and flecked them while the boys laughed at his reeking palms. Then Jack grabbed Maurice and rubbed the stuff over his cheeks .