Then I saw "Iron Man 2," using a free pass my mom gave me last year that I had never gotten around to using, and afterward, I dropped by Barnes and Noble, where I picked up a compilation of Spider pulp novels reprinted by Baen under the title, Robot Titans of Gotham (with a cover by Steranko, woot!). On the discount rack for five bucks!
Just looking at the cover, I immediately felt that my too big, over-the-top novel climax was now too small. I've only read a couple of Spider novels by Norvell Page, lent to me by Sargon, and his words echo in my brain. That the novels are relentless. They never let up. I don't know if Satan's Murder Machines lives up to that Steranko cover, but that's what I want my book to live up to. And it occurred to me that it would be a cool trick if I could pull it off, to make what seems like the predictable climax happen in the second act, so that people can still be surprised when the story spins into unexpected territory.
I don't know if I can come up with an idea big enough, but that's what I'm shooting for. To have a first act where people say, "No way he would go that far," a second act where they say, "Holy shit, he did go that far, but look how many pages are left! WTF?" and a third act where all they can say is, "Dude!"