Most of the “keywords” I’ll mention in these plotting posts are from Larry Brooks’ series on story structure (i.e. 6 core competencies). That’s because his definitions and explanations make sense to me in a more concrete way than any other method of plotting I’ve tried. It works for me. It won’t work for everyone. But if you’re a plotter and you haven’t read his series on NaNoWriMo, you really should.
The First & Second Plot Points are two of the three tent poles holding up your manuscript’s architectural roof. The third fits exactly half-way between them AND also in the exact center of your manuscript. It’s called the midpoint. Clever, eh?
The midpoint is a game-changing twist that shifts everything we’ve known about the story so far (We being the reader and also possibly the main character.) This moment leads your hero to become a hero of action, rather than a potential-hero being acted upon by his world.
Unlike the plot points which are actual events in the story, the midpoint doesn’t necessarily have to be a scene. It can just be an insertion of information that changes the MC or reader’s perception. And while you can obviously have more than one twist, depending on the kind of story you’re writing, this one happens smack-dab in the middle of your manuscript.
How will the midpoint give new context to and shift the story you’re planning to write? How will you reveal it?
Harry realizes that the package Hagrid fetched from Gringotts must also be the thing that Hagrid’s three-headed dog, Fluffy, is guarding in the forbidden corridor of Hogwarts. That’s when Harry transitions from directionless hero to a hero of action—taking steps to guard the Philosopher’s Stone from the bad guys.
On visiting day, Tris’ mother comes to Dauntless headquarters. During the visit Tris learns the true danger of being divergent. And that her mother was Dauntless-born.
Katniss awakens from her Tracker-jacker stupor to discover she successfully claimed the only bow in the Games. She’s no longer lost and hiding out while the other Tributes kill each other. With the bow, she has a shot at winning.
What are some game-changing midpoint twists you’ve read and loved?