Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sex and the Writer- Part Five of Five





Climax.

The big moment.

The heart pounding build-up where the tension is almost unbearable.

This is what they’re paying you for—to turn that unbearable tension into a successful climax.

If a writer can’t deliver, there’s no sense for a reader to climb into their reading bed.

If sexuality can teach a writer anything, it’s that a writer isn't worth reading unless they can deliver a climax that literally leaves their readers gasping.  It really is what they’re paying us for.

Are you up to it?

Are you committed to it?  Do you lust after it, are you obsessed with it, will you make the moves you know the reader needs and wants?

Or are you just writing for yourself?  If you are, why do you string them along?  They won’t be happy if you promise and don’t deliver.

You must always, always keep your partner in mind.

Who is your partner in this creative consummation?

Your reader.

If you forget them while you’re writing, you’re really just dancing in the dark.

And that’s only half as much fun.

18 comments:

Travis Cody said...

One of my favorite writers recently frustrated the hell out of me with a book I'd been eagerly anticipating. It was several hundred pages of character interplay and slow build up...nice foreplay.

Then a page and a half of reference to an action...I didn't get to actually view the action because the character telling the story throughout the plot was not at the action.

Anti-climax. Like working steadily toward the big moment and you're almost there and it's going to be awesome...then the door bell rings and it's your mom.

Grrrr.

Rick said...

That's exactly what I mean, Travis. You're right on point.

Bonnee said...

A thousand times yes! :) If there isn't a decent climax, the reader is left unsatisfied and grumpy.

One more thing though; the conclusion has to be just right too. Unwinding from the climax the right way is always important, because if it's just BOOM, the end... It just feels to sudden. (Currently studying narratives in my media class :P)

Rick said...

Paraphrasing Goldilocks, Bonnee, a proper climax has to be just right.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've read a few books that were just masterful on the buildup and fell way short on the climax. I remember them all distinctly, and that isn't a good thing for the writers.

Rick said...

If there's one thing a writer doesn't want to be remembered for, it's that kind of a let down, Charles. Imagine trying to get rid of that image. Ouch!

Patsy said...

I think getting this right is probably the hardest part of any writing.

Rick said...

I'd never looked at it which part is hardest before, Patsy, but I do believe you're right. Thanks!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

What bothers me is if it happens too soon (tee hee, that's what she said!). That is, I think that if it happens and I don't even realize that that was the climax before I get to the end of the story, that definitely is a problem. I think that the climax has to be something that grabs a reader's attention and makes them think, "Okay, NOW I see why the writer did x, y, z, because it makes sense that it would lead up to that."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The payoff has to match the build.
This has been a really good series, Rick!

Rick said...

Hello Neurotic Workaholic (love that name, by the way!).

You're right- the time and the emotional impact level is critical.

Rick said...

Thanks, Alex. And what you're saying is so very insightful. The proportions, like any good dish, have to be balanced. The build-up and the climax have to match.

M Pax said...

Nice analogy to keep in mind when writing.

Rick said...

Thanks, M. I appreciate you coming by.

mafarivar said...

Sometimes, there's no bang, only a wimper...does anyone write about the absence of climax? A climactic ending is very American and Japanese, other cultures often handle this differently. Think about it...

Miranda Hardy said...

It's very important to lead the reader well.

Rick said...

I am going to have to think about that, Michel. Kind of like turning a dimmer switch so slowly no one can remember the lights coming on.

Idealized cultures is something I wonder about when it comes to sexuality and writing. For example, the private face of a culture is obviously quite different than its public cultural projection. The British are quite famous for this with their Victorian ethics, morality plays, etc, but their private enjoyments, well...

But I'll bet the whimper part has put a smile on the writings of many a cultural warrior!

Rick said...

Kind of like a dance, when you think of it, Miranda.