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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Challenging the Plot Chart: Denouement

  So most plot charts or story graphs--whatever you want to call them! there's hundreds of names--look something like this:

I find that often when I write, I have more story after the climax than the chart shows, and often more than many people prefer.  It is commonly accepted that there should be very little story left after the climax, and I'm not saying I disagree.  This is a great tactic, as when the climax is over, the reader doesn't want to be bogged down by a ton more words.  Especially because they know it's no longer building to anything.

Still, I've been told by more than one industry professional--publisher, editor, agent, etc--that I have more story after the climax than is generally accepted.  I don't know why this is.  I think I suffer from an over-abundance of closure.

I also notice that I do this more with stand-alone novels than with installments of a series.  It's easier to do less denouement with installments because the whole point is to do something exciting and then leave the reader hanging, wanting more.

With my stand alones, though, I tend to want to hash out what just happened; to weigh in on what the characters thought of it.  I don't do it excessively, mind you, but I do do it.

So what does everyone think?  Would this bother you as a reader?  As a writer?  Is it a weakness of mine? What are your thoughts?


  1. I have noticed on some of the books I have read is the author seems to get into a hurry to end the book with the climax way to short. I feel as if it was rushed. Like they just wanted to get the book over with. After reading three hundred plus pages why rush the climax.

  2. Are you a member on Goodreads?

  3. Agreed, Patricia. Thanks for commenting, and yes, I'm on Goodreads, though I update that less often than I do my blogs and twitter account. A link for my goodreads profile is http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8586468-liesel. On twitter I'm @lkhillbooks or twitter.com/lkhillbooks. If you have blogs or social networking accounts, send me the links and I'll reciprocate! :D

  4. Love the plot chart! And thanks for following Writers Ally. Glad to meet you. I'm a new follower!

  5. Thanks! And thanks for following back. I look forward to your posts! :D