-- Marsha Norman
Available Now: Playwriting Seminars 2.0
The revised and expanded e-book edition.
Here's the full Table of Contents and ordering link for the new edition.
Here's an annotated version of 'NIGHT, MOTHER's Obligatory Scene starting from the
CLIMAX: Suspense Plot
MAMA screams to Jessie through the locked bedroom door. SOUND: Pistol shot.
MAMA slides to floor. No dialogue.
Minor CLIMAX: Emotional Plot
MAMA asks Jessie's forgiveness and admits that she didn't own her.
MAMA wanders into living room, eventually dials a number on phone. MAMA asks to speak to her son, as Jessie had told her to do.
And here's the same analysis with Marsha Norman's
There's nothing really mysterious about this when you stop to think about it. You've reached the Climax of the story you're telling. It's a big moment and it's taken a lot of effort to get there. So you need to take a breath or two before going on. That's the beginning of the Resolution. And once you've caught your breath, you're ready to take on the minor Climax of the Emotional Plot.