If that title doesn’t get me a few more visitors from Twitter, nothing will.
While writing this post I’m womaning the Northern Colorado Writers studio for the day. I usually have a dictionary and a Bartlett’s by my computer as I write, so I strolled into the NCW library to see what we had on the shelves. And I found the coolest book:
The Fiction Dictionary by Laurie Henry (Story Press, an imprint of F&W Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1995).
I flipped to the Cs and found words and definitions from “camp fiction” to “cyberpunk.” I jumped to the Us to see if there was a definition for “urban fantasy” in 1995. There was not. No Xs or Zs either. I won’t get off so easy later in the month. I’ve linked to a 2001 edition of the book, so it would be interesting to see what additions might have been made since 1995.
Today I could have chosen catharsis, cliche, conflict, or crisis. I picked climax instead. Defined by Ms. Henry as “turning point — The point in a story’s action when tension is at its highest, generally a point close to the end of the work.”
Taking The Desert Hedge Murders as my example for today, the climax of the novel comes toward the end when Sylvia and Willie (and P.I. Patsy Strump) are caught snooping around an old touristy gold mine at night. Patsy disappears, truck headlights come on, catching Sylvia and Willie crossing the parking lot, and I sure would love it if you’d ask your library to order a copy so you can see what happens next.
As Ms. Henry says, “A climax will be followed, in a conventional story, by the denouement, the tying up of any loose ends.” Hmmm. I guess that eliminates “denouement” as my word for Monday’s post. Anyway, yes, there’s a denouement following the climax in my novel. As a matter of fact, there are two (but I keep them short so readers don’t get bored out of their minds — long, drawn-out denouements are the pits).
I’ve check The Fiction Dictionary out of the NCW library for the week. Is there anything you want me to look up?