Crafting Turning Points or Disasters

Donald Maass states in his Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook that “A turning point in a story is the point at which things change.” Susan May Warren refers to this change in her Deep and Wide craft book as a series of disappointments (actually, each D gets more dire: disappointment, disaster, destruction, devastation.)

So, turning points or disappointments move your story forward with conflict. Each character has four to five turning points or disasters during the course of the story.

Turning points or disasters are sometimes so hard to get right. They are the moments where your character will come up against a brick wall and have to change their course.

Make sure the turning point or disappointment relates directly to the external conflict from your character’s GMC chart. Remember, your character’s goal should be obvious to the reader. So ask yourself what external conflict your character might face trying to achieve their goal. Make sure the conflict isn’t easy to overcome.

Finally, make sure the turning point or disappointment changes how things look or changes the direction of the plot. Let me know in the comments section if this post helped you! Happy writing 🙂


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