Crisis and Climax

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  • Crisis and Climax

    What is the difference? I keep reading conflicting definitions in my books.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Crisis and Climax

    screenwriting books?

    how will it change your writing/story if you know the difference?

    it doesn't matter to me but if i was taking a vocabulary test i would guess that crisis is more about an overall situation and climax is about the peak moment of that situation.

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    • #3
      Re: Crisis and Climax

      From dictionary of literary terms:

      Crisis
      The conflict reaches a turning point. At this point the opposing forces in the story meet and the conflict becomes most intense. The crisis occurs before or at the same time as the climax.

      Climax
      The climax is the result of the crisis. It is the high point of the story for the reader. Frequently, it is the moment of the highest interest and greatest emotion. The point at which the outcome of the conflict can be predicted.
      Last night, Jesus appeared to me in a dream and told me that loving me is the part of His job He hates the most.

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      • #4
        Re: Crisis and Climax

        Here's how I approach some of my screenplays (ETA: but never on purpose):

        We have a character. He or she is our protagonist. His or her life is sorta out of order, but he's (sorry, we'll stick to one gender for the sake of saving space... D'oh! So much for saving-- D'oh!) taking steps to set everything straight. At the same time something else is happening. Something that's on a collision course with our protag. We may or may not see this right now. Then some shit goes down related to that stuff that was happening, and it fucks all sorts of stuff up for our protag. But he tries to get a handle on it, doing everything he knows to solve this new problem. Until the new problem turns out to be something he never expected. Holy crap! Curve ball city, folks. He will NOT be able to get a handle on this this as easily as he was hoping. So now he works his ass off to solve the new and even more fucked up version of the problem, running into all sorts of skullduggery and stuff he wasn't expecting -- stuff that keeps getting more complicated and really challenging -- which causes him to have to adjust until...

        Something REALLY big happens that changes the game and makes things incredibly difficult. This crap locks our protagonist in for good. The stakes are huge now. If he doesn't solve the problem, there will be dire fucking consequences. So he reaches beyond what he knows, to a place inside of him that's the opposite of everything he stands for, in order to solve the problem. But goddamn if the shit doesn't keep getting worse and worse until our protagonist fails in a major way (right when he (and we) thought he was about to win, too), and it looks like he's not going to be able to stop the world from getting fucked in the ass. But wait! There's still hope. There's this other thing that our protagonist hadn't really considered but that's been with him the whole time -- only he couldn't see it before because he was a different person. No time to dwell on that, though, because there's a damned clock ticking here. That bad world fucking thing is about to happen! So our protagonist uses this other thing to battle the forces of evil, and wins. Yay--

        Oh, crap, he didn't quite win. Because something else that he didn't consider -- but that was also there the whole time -- gives evil a second wind. Damn! So now our protagonist has to do something he never could have done waaaaaaaaaaaay back when our story started because he didn't have it in him. But he can do it now. And so he does it and defeats evil once and for all, and thus lives happily ever after (totally solving the problem he was trying to solve when we first met him, which, thematically, is related to everything he just went through)...

        Except that evil's son is alive and well and plotting the world's demise.

        THE END
        Last edited by SuperScribe; 11-08-2010, 08:02 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Crisis and Climax

          You know what? We can talk structure until we're blue in the balls, but this one page screenplay by Haas & Brandt is one of the best things I've ever read in screenplay format:

          http://www.movieline.com/2009/05/the...messy-life.php

          If they can do that with one page, imagine what you could do with a hundred.

          And just fuck shit up, guys. Just fuck it up. In the most resonating way imaginable.

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          • #6
            Re: Crisis and Climax

            Originally posted by SuperScribe View Post
            You know what? We can talk structure until we're blue in the balls, but this one page screenplay by Haas & Brandt is one of the best things I've ever read in screenplay format:

            http://www.movieline.com/2009/05/the...messy-life.php

            If they can do that with one page, imagine what you could do with a hundred.

            And just fuck shit up, guys. Just fuck it up. In the most resonating way imaginable.
            We can't talk until we are blue in the balls. Except for you, everyone here is a girl.
            Last night, Jesus appeared to me in a dream and told me that loving me is the part of His job He hates the most.

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            • #7
              Re: Crisis and Climax

              Now you can talk until...


              Thanks, superscribe. That teaches Structure, Theme, and an early Climax.

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              • #8
                Re: Crisis and Climax

                Crisis - Marlin (Finding Nemo) is clinging to a whale's tongue as the whale tries to get him and Dori to the back of its throat. Marlin faces a crisis (as he sees it): hang on for dear life or let go, trusting that the cruel world he knows will not simply swallow him alive. He lets go - the old Marlin dies, the faith filled, fearless Marlin is reborn, shot out of the whale's spout.

                Climax - Several minutes and one rescue later, Nemo puts himself in harm's way to save a school of fish from a fishing boat's net, while Marlin, appreciating his son's strength of character for the first time (he "finds Nemo"), cheers him on.

                My take, anyway.

                Success,
                InDeep
                Many men, perhaps even most, are unhappy in their souls. We burn so hard but shed so little light it makes us crazy and sad. - CLIVE BARKER

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                • #9
                  Re: Crisis and Climax

                  I made poop in my boxers.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Crisis and Climax

                    Originally posted by SuperScribe View Post
                    I made poop in my boxers.
                    now that's a crisis! b/c you were announced "best screenplay" at the academy awards and your tux pants are stickin' to your asssss!

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