I wonder if you're not supposed to write directly about some dramatic points in your story because it'll end up being a let down for the reader.
I recently finished two novellas that were more plot heavy that most of my other stories. They were fairly linear, building up to climactic moments that involved murder and the like. As I was writing up to the dramatic scene, I was feeling the excitement of the story. But, when I got to the actual scene, there was always a bit of a let down. At least for me. Like other activities, it seemed like the build up to the climax is better than the climax.
It's not a surprise that readers have expectations when they're moving through a story. If you are leading them somewhere, and building the tension, they're probably preparing themselves for some big climactic moment. But, will the actual writing ever match up with what a reader hopes to read?
My guess is no.
In my experience, rarely has anything in reality been better than the vague expectations I prepared myself for. My unopened Christmas presents are always much cooler than my opened ones. And, it has nothing to do with quality, in my experience. It has to do with expectations. If you're expecting a mouthful of chocolate, a grapefruit is going to taste funny no matter how good it is.
I thought of Light In August by William Faulkner. In that book, the climactic scene isn't told to us directly. Readers are led up close the climax, and then, POOF, we're on the other side, and hearing about the event secondhand. Faulkner's reasons for doing that always puzzled me, but as I was writing my novellas I realized that that little F-ster might have actually been on to something. (If he were alive, I'd tussle his hair.) By leaving the climax unwritten, the reader is allowed to insert his or her imaginary expectations into the gap. They're creating their own climax, or at least supplementing the climax.
I'm going back to Cyberlama after taking my little novella-cation, and I'm excited to play with this idea of the hidden or implied climax.
What do you think?