For me, It depends.
Before I write the book, I write a couple of dot points. I might change the climax after a first draft.
I build up the tension throughout the story. The actions that occur are more and more determining and dangerous every time and the characters are put under a lot of stress until they feel like they have reached “the point of no return”.
I like for it to be a surprise to me. If I limit myself with an outline then I just restricted myself from going outside. I know how the book starts and finishes… But the rest comes to me as I write. I want to explore with my characters. I know their limits, but I never know who’s coming.
This isn’t a space to ask broad questions about writing, that’s the Improve Your Writing club where you can have discussions.
This is a specific working group for bringing forward problems you’re experiencing and would like my assistance with in your story, such as if you were struggling with how to plan a climax in tension.