I must admit, in Chapter 3: Build A Framework for Your Novel’s Pieces, when Smith recommended writing the climax first, I felt skeptical. I’ve always been a “write in the order the voices tell you ” kind of writer. Writing the climax first sounded daunting. How on earth was I going to come up with a climax when I haven’t written a single page of manuscript? But like always, Smith provided guidance, including Ten Elements for A Climatic Scene.
A scene came to mind and I filled out the Scene Development sheet that comes with the You Can Write A Novel Kit. I checked my scene against the Ten Elements and found #7 (No new material introduced into the climax) and #8 (Lack of Explanation [exposition]) particularly hard for BLINK. There are things that will happen that Lexi (Master Character) won’t understand, that will be contrary to every thing she believed. Smith recommends foreshadowing to avoid introducing new material during the climax and action/dialogue to avoid slowing the pace of the climax with exposition.
In Step 4 of Chapter 3, I created the opening scene. Again, Smith has a list of things an opening should include. I tore off another Scene Development and completed it as much as I could and much to my surprise, the opening scene and climax have a direct impact on each other just as they should (and despite creating them in opposite order). In the opening scene, Lexi makes a major mistake and in the climax, she has an opportunity to rectify it, but it will costs her. I’m now on Step 6: Write Your Central Story in “Headlines”. This section will help me connect the dots from the opening scene to the climax.