Turning Point Problems

by Krishna

Question: The climax or turning point of a story usually changes the fortune of the protagonist in some way. What I want to know is if the climax can be good or bad because I'm not sure if I don't understand what a climax is or am mistaking it for something else. There is an article on this site talking about story structure and such. The turning point is about as far as I've gotten to be honest. Plot outline is coming along on the bright side. I have decided plot outlines are hard. :3

Answer: The climax--or final driver--is the event that determines decisively whether the story goal is achieved or not (the outcome).

The outcome can be success or failure.

But here's the interesting part...

In many stories, successfully achieving the story goal is a good thing (part of a happy ending), and failing to achieve the story goal would be a bad thing. It's what happens at the end of tragedies.

However, there are some stories where achieving the goal turns out to be a bad thing for the main character. You can call this a comi-tragedy or personal tragedy. For instance, in Romeo and Juliet the goal of ending the feud between the two houses is achieved, but things don't work out so well for Romeo.

There are also stories where failing to achieve the story goal turns out to be a good thing. For instance, in the film How to Train Your Dragon the goal of ridding the island of dragons fails. However, things turns out all right for the main character, who becomes someone of status in his community for having tamed the dragons.

P.S. Outlines can be hard, but not having an outline can make writing harder.

Comments for Turning Point Problems

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Jul 19, 2014
Thanks!! ^^ More questions :3
by: Krishna

Thanks for the help!! I was wondering, there's an article on here that I think I mentioned in my other question? Something about story structure I believe. Anyways, some of the steps confused me. I don't understand much of the differences between a few of them. Rising action, falling action, and climax. Everything goes well for the protagonist (rising) then something happens that somehow changes that (climax - which can be good or bad) and bad things happen afterwards (falling action)?

Jul 20, 2014
by: Glen

Rising action, crisis, and falling action are part of Freytag/Aristotle's 5-part pyramid model of story structure. (The other two parts are the inciting incident and the catastrophe, or the beginning and end.)

In a tragedy, the rising action shows the hero winning. The crisis is the turning point, after which the falling action shows the hero's fortunes unraveling. In a classic comedy, the rising action shows the problems getting more complicated and worse, while the falling action shows the hero progressively winning, and the story ends with a victory rather than a catastrophe.

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