Saturday, July 15, 2023

Clarity Happens

Occasionally, the veil lifts, and I realize I’ve completely misunderstood a vague label or abstract concept.

Various plot structures utilize different labels for the same concept. For example, the story’s inciting incident is also called a trigger event or a catalyst. The resolution is also known as the denouement.

In the six years I’ve been learning to write, I’ve taken classes, attended lectures, watched webinars, and read books and websites. I always believed plot turning points and plot twists to be the same concept.

Yesterday I stumbled across a clear and concise explanation of the terms.

In a story I’m writing, several women intend to spend a relaxing weekend in a waterfront town, but one woman is kidnapped. The plotline pivots from an enjoyable weekend to a nightmare scenario. That’s a turning point.

In the 1980 Star Wars movie, ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ Darth Vader tells Luke, “I am your father.” It changed the entire way I looked at their fight-to-the-death relationship. That’s a plot twist.

And in another moment of clarity, I suddenly realized I’d used the same last name for multiple characters in my draft, and none of them are related.