My cousin was here visiting this week and he asked me how my book was going. I tried to explain to him that I was working on the denouement.
I said: “You know, I’ve written the climax already. It’s just the stuff that comes after the climax, the denouement,” only I don’t know how to say denouement so it sounded like I was a ninth grader on the first day of French class. Or a white-tennis-shoed-very-American-tourist bouncing around Paris and butchering the language. And to drive in the fact that I didn’t know how to pronounce denouement, I repeated it like three times.
Each time I said it differently.
My nine-year-old son was working on some legos on the couch. I was unaware he was even listening to the conversation. Without even looking up, he explained to my cousin, “Falling action, resolution.”
What the what?
Me, sitting on the rocking chair, mouth agape. “Yes,” I finally said. “Like that.”
In my defense, I work with words all day long. I’m constantly in word overload. I find myself tripping over the most common everyday words. Words like of or because. I’m thinking about bringing my son around with me everywhere. I can just punch him in the shoulder when I need a word.
Do you have this problem too?
Also, how long should a denouement/falling action/resolution be? When is it too long? When is it too short? Thoughts?
Also, I’m proud of my son because he doesn’t exactly fit into the public education box at school. His teachers wanted to retain him in kindergarten, first and second grade. You can read about it here.
Clearly, they were wrong. He’s a genius!
Also, how do you pronounce denouement?