Reading the classic western, The Virginian, by Owen Wister. One of the most influential books, ever. It helped establish the Myth of the American West and led to lots and lots of employment for Hollywood writers. Yeah!
The Virginian is the hero. Trampas is the bad guy. Their conflict lasts for the entire book. It’s intense, epic, and a good ride.
Here are the two pages of the climax… I had to read it THREE TIMES to realize what actually happened.
It was so a non-event, I was stunned. “A wind seemed to blow his sleeve off his arm, and he replied to it…” THAT IS THE CLIMACTIC SHOOTOUT at the end of a 484 page effort? That’s IT? It is nothing, nothing, nothing. And it isn’t even clear. You go through an entire story, assuming that at the end there is going to be a marvelously satisfying conclusion… and you get a waft of air and a reply? That is not the way to tell a story.
When you set something up in your story, be sure that you pay it off at the end! Give the audience what they sat there patiently waiting for. As Blake Snyder says, give them the “promise of the premise.” Please.