What Is the Climax of a Story?

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The climax of a story is the moment when all events come together for its peak intensity. This is usually located in the third part of a story. The falling action and conclusion follow shortly after a climax due to the decisive nature of a climax. During the climax of the story, all problems are resolved and set the stage for the resulting occurrences to be told in the conclusion.

In narrative structure there are five basic parts to a story: the beginning, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. “Climax” is derived from the Greek word “klimax,” which means “staircase and ladder.” True to its origin, all events climb up to the climax. Synonyms for climax that you may see are apex, zenith, summit, turning point or capstone. On the other hand, an anti-climax is when a story has a very interesting buildup only to be solved by something minor. An example of an anti-climax is when the solution is found by merely pushing a button. Another example of an anti-climax is when the protagonist dies before solving the scenario built up throughout the story. Although the term “anti-climax” is often given a negative connotation, it can also serve as an unexpected twist for a memorable story.