For first two weeks of February, 2010, I’m running a special on Free Edits of Climaxes just like the special of Free Edits of Hooks I ran last August. Only with a couple of differences in the rules to account for the different role a Climax plays in a novel:
1) Limit 250 words. This is one manuscript page. Yes, your entire Climax might be longer than that. But you’ve got to pack a wallop in the climax of a Climax, and in order to do that you’ve got to keep the wallop brief. Regardless of how long it takes you to set up the bowling pins, I want just the one page where you knock them down, the page that’s the focus of the whole kit & kaboodle, the page you’ve been writing toward since page one, the reason you’re writing this book. The quicker and shorter the better.
2) Two to three sentences giving the basic set-up: who the protagonist is, what they desperately need, why they haven’t been able to get it, plus what you’ve done to hoodwink them into thinking their troubles were more or less over directly prior to the Climax. Have mercy, guys, and keep this part as short as you possibly can. I don’t have time to read your entire synopsis if I’m going to have time to actually edit your piece. I don’t even need to know who the other characters are. I should be able to get the gist of the relationships and relative importance from the scene. Just two or three sentences.
3) Check these out to see examples of Climaxes from great works in literature. And yes, for the record, two of those great works were technically pulps when they were published. Books were edited better in those days.
Either email me your Climax or post it here in the comments. I’ll try to get the Free Edits posted within a day or two of receiving them. (Last time I only posted them once a week, but this time I’ll post them more often because we’re only going for two weeks.)
I’ll be publicizing the Free Edits of Climaxes on Twitter, so you’ll get readers checking your pieces out and following the links back to your blogs.
Good luck, everyone!
Knock us out of the park.
Read last week’s Free Edits, all posted.