Birth of a Novel Part 16 - Emotional Climax

This is the twenty-first entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy. Yes, twenty-first, even though the post is entitled Part 16.

I think the title of this post is pretty catchy. I'm actually three chapters along, but this is about the first two of them. Mythos is experiencing the big climax right now. And frankly, I should be on to the denouement, but I got a bit sick earlier this week, which rendered me thoroughly useless, disabled, unable to read, much less write. It sucked. Royally. Dude - I can't wish this on anyone.

Once again, I digress. So, yeah, Mythos and climax. This is one long sucker, the first two chapters of which I've decided are really the emotional climax. Zydeco experiences betrayal, which in and of itself is a tough thing for a person living or literary. Things are already pretty bad when he realizes what's happened, and you'd think this is the final "pile on Zydeco" wrestler move.

Not so fast.

As an author, I've learned a few things about the treatment of the characters I've created. You need to treat them not like a parent, but more like an unbalanced deity. I love them to death and take enormous pride in their accomplishments As my mother would say, I "kvell" when good things happen. And then I'll turn around, make their lives incredibly miserable, and rejoice and my evil accomplishment.

Where I'm going with this is that no matter how bad things get for your protagonist, you can always make them worse. A little creativity goes a long way. Think like an evil overlord. You'll do fine.

So, while Zydeco may feel like he's at the bottom of a Chinatown dumpster, it can and will get worse. A LOT worse. But not before I give him some false hope. You see, I am such a bastard, I amaze even me. Now this being a first draft, I'm sure it'll all come across as slightly contrived and Zydeco won't appear as fazed as he ought to. The structure is all there, however. And I think I've got a pretty sweet cliffhanger at the end of the first of these two chapters. My, oh my, I certainly believe it's true.

Now the next two chapters I'm working on -- which bring us to the end of Mythos -- are all about how Zydeco deals with these awful circumstances. Will he fail or will he overcome? Is it Rocky or Rocky II? Only yours truly knows the answer.

To read about the last chapter, journey back to the previous entry.

To see how it all ends, read the final post


Simon C. Larter said...

Yup, you can always make things worse for your character.

Actually, I thought that about the beginning of the new Star Trek flick... they sure piled on the suck for that young captain in the opening scene, didn't they? *That's* how it's done, baby.

Best of luck, good sir, writing through your climax.

Jay said...

Oh yeah - they definitely piled on. That must be why I liked it so much. Thanks for visiting!