How to Write a Great Climax – Episode 1 – Anti-Climax

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The climax of any fictional work is the peak of the drama, everything builds to this end, all strands, all issues, all themes square up. Protagonist faces antagonist, all come together to fight it out and be resolved.

But why many films trajectory goes wrong in this act, why sometimes we leave the theater dejectedly due to the climax even though the film started on an amazing note.

The climax itself is historically known as Obligatory act.

Obligatory means compulsory, customary, a fashion to be expected. Physics demands not just a beginning and middle but also end, the obligatory act, which is why storytelling feels wrong if it’s omitted or underplayed.

When we look closely in every film, the inciting incident provokes a question that gets answered in the end. Thus, we can say that the intensity of the climax lies in the setup that we make in the inciting incident.

Climax is the final showdown between two opposites that exist in the story world like life vs. death, success vs. failure, love vs. hate etc and we’re going to see some ways to make that showdown memorable and meaningful (that I know as of now).

Anti – climax



Reversal and double reversal



Me, you, your parents and in fact every human are running behind something in their life to conquer, it maybe a truck load of money, a beautiful girl, a stable job etc and that what characters in a film represent about.

A protagonist trying to get what he/she wants in the film while the force of antagonism trying to stop him/her makes a story. A character’s objective is the key to narrative film writing and the film ends when he/she gets that objective and sometimes they don’t, this failure of reaching the objective by the end of the film makes the climax an ANTI-CLIMAX.

Audience are tuned to get their happy ending for centuries but the most remembered ones are the stories that have anti-climax in it. If you want to test it out, just turn to the next person you are sitting with and ask them what the greatest love story existed on earth. Most of them will be obliged to say its Romeo and Juliet or Shajahan and Mumtaz or Deavadas and Parvati.

All the three couples didn’t have their happy ending, one pair dies together on the same spot, while other lived for a short span of time and the last Devadas dies on the corridor of Parvathi’s house.

The fact that these stories are remembered through centuries is because they ended as Anti-climax, their objective to live happily ever after do not happen for them making the end of the stories memorable, hard and meaningful.

You may ask why audience prone to happy ending pass on anti-climatic stories through generations. The answer is simple; we learn more from our failure than success. Anti-climax have that quality, when a character doesn’t achieve what they wanted, we can empathize with their failures.

Anti-climax can also be on a positive note, take La La Land, both the protagonist give up their love to follow their career, this scenario would have happened in many of our lives and when we witness this through an art form we get connected emotionally and this emotional connection is the significant of Anti-climax making it as a unique writing technique.

Episode 2 – How to Write a Great Climax – Character Contrast & Raising Stakes


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