I'm posting for Lisa, so if she puts a post up, I'll take this one down.
But, I've got burning questions about climaxes. Take your minds out of the gutter! Not that climax. The book's climax. The black moment. Turning point. Whatever you want to call it, it's what the book builds towards, and what the characters have to recover from as they move on to their HEA. Unfortunately, there's not a Cosmo guide to better climaxes ("How to please your hero in 10 easy mind-blowing steps"). I've looked. Romance writers are all about the foreplay--the perfect hook, the best rising action, "how to seduce your reader with 10 sexy new games," and "Be a Bad Girl! Play Hard to Get!" Generally, it seems to be assumed that if everything else is in place, the climax will take care of itself.
I'm in the final scenes of my WIP, and I've got climax problems worthy of 10 little blue pills. I've got questions, and I'm hoping some of you have answers.
Many romance books, even those that are not RS, climax with a dramatic scene where the heroine (or hero) is in peril--a gun is produced, a bad guy materializes, a child is lost, death is imminent. The threat of death seems to be the universal love potion--historical do it, contemporaries do it, even Erotica and YA do it. My WIP is a romantic comedy, and plenty of other romantic comedies climax with the threat of peril to life or limb. Other comedies climax with the madcap chase scene--a huge comedy errors that sends the hero and heroine tripping and tumbling towards their HEA. I love both types of endings.
Unfortunately, the climax of my book doesn't fit either "formula." Which leads me to wonder, is there a place for non-standard climaxes? What if my book has multiples? One big black moment at the 3/4 mark, and another smaller black moment in the final scenes? Is it possible to have a "soft" climax, where the book builds, black moment, and then the resolution is more subtle? Does the removal of the barriers standing between them and HEA have to be filled with peril? What if the barriers are mainly emotional? Does the lack of motivation for a big-drama-filled climax in the final scenes always point to a plotting problem?
And if it does, be blunt and brutal with me. I'm going to finish these scenes, and then it's on to revisions, and I've got to have a game plan for dealing with the black moment and what happens afterwards. Feel free to share any good links you have on the subject too! Thanks!