Escalation

It’s important for a story to start off strong, grabbing the reader’s interest from the beginning.  But once you get over that initial hump, the story needs to escalate to maintain the reader’s interest.  Usually, good stories will have an accelerating pace as the story moves closer and closer to the climax.  For many writers, this is the part of the story you started out wanting to tell: the idea for the great climactic moment is often one of the first ideas that comes to many writers’ head when contemplating a new story (although in the case of the short story I’m working on now, this was not the case; instead, I had an idea for a great opening hook, but initially not for the ending or climax).

In my story, I’ve reached a point where the rising action is just beginning to come to the climax.   I’m beginning to increase the pace of the story, and the protagonist is having to face the consequences of decisions he made in the past.

This is the part of the story where you want to start bringing everything together.  During final stretch of rising action, the climax, and the dénouement the themes of the story are brought to the fore, secrets are revealed, and lessons are learned.  While a good story opens with a solid hook that captures the reader’s interest, this is where the hook is finally set and you reel them in – this is where you fulfill the promise you made to the reader during your opening lines.

Before proceeding with this part of my story, I’ve had to take a step back and think for a while about how I want everything to play out in the end.  I know the ending of the story, but hitting the right notes in the right order is a challenge.

For those of you out there who are writers, how do you handle this critical step in the story?  Share your thoughts, and happy writing?