menu

What Is the Stage of a Plot That Includes the Key Turning Point of a Story Called?


The five elements of plot are the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution or denouement. The climax is the turning point of the story, the point to which the rising action has been building and the point at which the characters have what they need to resolve the conflict. Every story has a climax, whether it is a piece of flash fiction or an epic novel.

Climactic Moment

The climax is typically a single scene or even a moment in a story. For example, in "Antigone," the climax comes when the king finally decides to pardon Antigone for disobeying his orders and burying her brother. The decision comes after her fiance and others have been pleading for her life throughout the whole play. It is a turning point because it leads them to discover that Antigone has already killed herself while awaiting her fate, which has caused her fiance, the king's son, to kill himself, which has caused his mother, the king's wife, to kill herself. The climax leads to the tragedy of the story.

How It Occurs

Climax can come through an action or an epiphany, or something another character says. It can involve a character learning key information, making an important decision or taking action. The climax in action stories usually involves a battle between the protagonist and antagonist.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.

Photo Credits
  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images