Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
User avatar
Lazarus
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby Lazarus » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:04 pm

Turning Points are the most critical of a stories many reversals (which may have dozens of medium and small ones). Some Turning Points can be called “Disasters” or “Fails”, depending on the formula one uses.

What is your preferred placement of the major Turning Points around chapter breaks?

For example, I have 5 related scenes and can insert a chapter break between any of them. The third scene is the First Turning Point. So I could break the scenes cleanly putting the 1TP at the end of one chapter (cue dramatic music and freeze DUN dun DUNNNNN!!!! before cutting to commercial). Or I could include it it in the same chapter as the lead-in to the next plot arc - which, without context, could seem awkward but because its only the 1TP, may be allowed to be minimized in order to let the 2TP be more dramatic.

I don’t want advice. I want to know what you do in these situations?
__________________________________________
"I plan to live forever, or die trying."
-Vila Restal (Blake 7)
Quoting Groucho Marx

LDWriter2
Posts: 3527
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:08 pm

You mean in the books we write or read? But in reading hmm, never really thought about it. Most chapters seem to end in a major Turning Point, if I understand that term correctly. A lot of times in some form of cliffhanger but sometimes just a change of direction or POV.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

storysinger
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:00 pm
Location: Pensacola

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby storysinger » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:06 am

I'm in the process of editing my first attempt at producing a novel.
After reading your question I reread some of my chapter breaks.
So far I end my chapter with a conclusion of an ongoing action, that is a lead-in for the next one hoping to keep the reader engaged and anticipating the story arc.
The next chapter starts with the anticipated event.
I don't have any guidelines I'm following I'm pretty much learning as I go.
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

User avatar
RSchibler
Posts: 728
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:53 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby RSchibler » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:26 am

I vary where I break it - sometimes it's a cliffhanger and sometimes I tie things off with a bow with a few dangling threads. I (personally) like to have easy places to put a book down. I'm a mom, I have work and life to deal with, so it's nice to have a satisfying place to stop without it nagging at me too much. I structure my novels by instinct on the first draft, and then go back through and break things up for pacing in the editing stage.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

Stories in:
A Dying Planet, 2020
Hold Your Fire, 2021
Upon A Once Time, 2021
2020 Writers of the Future Superstars Scholarship

User avatar
Lazarus
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby Lazarus » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:06 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:You mean in the books we write or read? But in reading hmm, never really thought about it. Most chapters seem to end in a major Turning Point, if I understand that term correctly. A lot of times in some form of cliffhanger but sometimes just a change of direction or POV.


I posted this under the topic “Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique”, so did not realize I should specify. I am only referring to what you write.
__________________________________________
"I plan to live forever, or die trying."
-Vila Restal (Blake 7)
Quoting Groucho Marx

LDWriter2
Posts: 3527
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:12 pm

I don't usually think of it in those term. But I believe my answer would be chapter breaks. Not that all chapters are turning points.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

User avatar
Lazarus
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby Lazarus » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:24 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:...my answer would be chapter breaks.


The original question was:

“What is your preferred placement of the major Turning Points around chapter breaks?”

I don’t understand your answer. Can your elaborate?
__________________________________________
"I plan to live forever, or die trying."
-Vila Restal (Blake 7)
Quoting Groucho Marx

LDWriter2
Posts: 3527
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 pm
Location: Central Cailf.
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:30 pm

I usually don't think of turning points by the name turning points. But as I understand the context of when you used that term I do use chapter breaks for turning points. But not all of my chapter breaks are turning points. Is this clearer or the same as my original?
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

User avatar
Lazarus
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:59 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: Novel Structure - About Turning Points

Postby Lazarus » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:39 am

From this, I am assuming that you only only put your turning points at the end of a chapter and before the break. If that is correct, then that answers my question.

Also, I didn't suggest that every chapter has a turning point. Every scene must have a reversal so chapters can have multiples of those, but they are minor. TPs are major and stories only need a few (but at least one). That was part of my confusion.
__________________________________________
"I plan to live forever, or die trying."
-Vila Restal (Blake 7)
Quoting Groucho Marx


Return to “Writing: Craft, Talent, Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests