The turning point of a story for your main character is one of the most important elements in your fiction. If you can create that on your page, your audience’s involvement and investment cements forever. A lot of the time, climactic plot moments should rub up against these instances of deep personal change. When your character’s heart hardens, or softens. When one of their core defining values is broken down, or reinforced. When they make the most difficult decision of their lives. These instances are what great storytelling is made of.
Exploit Your Story Turning Point
Sometimes, though, a change of heart just happens to a character. They don’t like someone and then, well, they wake up one day and feel differently and then the writer continues the plot from that new perspective. The only problem is, any story turning point is an Event-with-an-E. Or it deserves to be, because it has great power potential with readers. Just like you should put great care into approaching how to start a story, the turning point of a story is a hot spot that you absolutely must exploit.
The Turning Point Of A Story Should Be An Intentional Moment
From the smallest changes of heart to the most important, I need to be able to point to the very instant on the page where your character turns a corner. It will usually happen in reaction to something in your plot and be expressed mostly in Interiority (your character’s thoughts, feelings, reactions). After that, their new attitude or feeling about a person or situation will filter down and express itself in how they behave in scene and during the plot. But that moment when they see something differently has to be present.
I talk a lot more about the turning point of a story in my book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit. For now, though, do go back and examine your character’s story turning point and make sure that you’re juicing every last bit of resonance from that moment. This goes double for picture books, where you have a lot less text to work with (learn about picture book word count here). Sure, real kids change their minds all the time, but fictional ones need to be very strongly motivated in order for their emotional logic to make sense to the youngest readers.
Hire my developmental editing services and I’ll help you make sure that those emotional turning points are present and intentional throughout your story.