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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Writing Turning Points


What drives the plot in a story are the turning points or the places where your main characters make decisions that propel the action forward. If I’ve learned anything along this journey to publication, it’s that a story’s plot must include major and minor turning points if you as a writer want to keep your reader interested and the pace lively. Each scene should have one, and these turning points should build on each other to create the arc of your story. Turning points without connection to anything else stymie the action.

Two writers who explain the concept better than I are Michael Hauge and Jennifer Crusie.

Michael Hauge, who will be conducting a workshop in Atlanta in October 2010 during Georgia Romance Writers’ Moonlight and Magnolias Conference, believes there are five key turning points in a screenplay or novel. They are opportunity, change of plans, point of no return, major setback and climax. See http://www.screenplaymastery.com/structure.htm
for a complete discussion.

Jennifer Crusie also provides a wonderful explanation and handout from the 2009 Romance Writers of America conference on her website. http://arghink.com/2009/07/29/turning-points-handout-from-rwa-national


Can you think of any other resources that explain turning points available to writers on the net? What are some books that you’d recommend?

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2 Comments:

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I think a lot of it is instinctual, partly because we've been exposed to storytelling in various forms since birth. I've used The Hero's Journey in the past.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Trish,
Great suggestion!

 

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