Intense Emotional Climax

Why are the intense emotional scenes such a challenge to write? I’m talking about climaxes. I spend the whole manuscript just trying to get to those intense scenes, but when I finally arrive, I find myself floundering around. The writing is often surface and too quick. A scene that should probably take several pages (since it’s the climax of a 150 page book . . .) is done in just a couple pages. It’s as if I have this momentum that makes me write only the bare bones, the action and dialogue, without dipping into what the characters are feeling.

I usually have to rewrite these scenes around five times before I get them to the same stage of revision as the rest of the manuscript. I’m struggling right now with the end of Book 1. It seems too trite (?). Part of the problem is I don’t want to go into too much gory detail. I don’t need to make the book R rated just to get the point across. I think what I have to do is really delve into the characters’ emotions. That’s hard because they are going through intense pain. How do I describe that? How do I describe the despair, the physical symptoms that accompany it?

Sigh. I’m on revision two right now. Just three more to go until the climax hits first draft stage. Back to the grinding wheel!

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