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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Story Lines: Just One Climax? : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
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Story Lines: Just One Climax?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:05 pm
by Spinners
I know, if I were asking this in English class, this would be a no-brainer. Every story has that one distinct climax, right? I'm not so sure about that. Normally, we think of a story having small conflicts along the way building to one distinct climax. However, consider the story of Disney's "Finding Nemo". Is there a climax? (I assume everyone's seen it? But, just in case, be forewarned of a potential spoiler!) The bulk of the story is about Marlin's adventure trying to find his son. Along the way, he faces many battles and has many obstacles (including personal issues) to overcome. Marlin's story is balanced by a sub-plot of Nemo and his captive fish tank friends trying to free themselves. Last, there's one final challenge Nemo and his father must face together. This final conflict is a new predicament that, unrelated to the main story line, gives us a happy ending and wraps up loose ends left hanging since the opening scene. We finally find Marlin trusting his son and bonding. (If you disagree with my assessment and feel "Finding Nemo" had a climax, please share what you see.)

In short, my question is: if one were to diagram the rising and falling action in a story, is it poor form to have a story line like that of an EKG vs a peaked roof? I ask because my story, like "Finding Nemo", is the Odyssey-type and not the clear-cut, Cinderella type. Your thoughts?

Re: Story Lines: Just One Climax?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:49 am
by Brien Sz
The journey and travails is the story, the change Marlin makes within himself (to trust) is the climax - the biggest moment for that change is when Nemo goes to save Dory - it's that last moment to cement the change. Yes, you are correct that it isn't the classic "English Class" protagonist v antagonist storyline but wouldn't things be awfully boring if it was just that one way? The journey of change is a classic storyline in itself but a much tougher one to teach in elementary English class.

Re: Story Lines: Just One Climax?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:50 pm
by williamadams