on Helping Writers become Authors:
Of all the paired structural beats in a story, the Pinch Points are perhaps the most obvious. There are only two of them, they have the same name, and they perform essentially the same function in both their first and second iteration. They’re also perhaps the least known and most confusing of all the major turning points in classic story structure.
Today, we’re continuing our series about “chiastic” structure—which refers to the idea of the second half of a story mirroring the first. Although this effect can be created in more obvious and deliberate ways, it is always present within the actual structure of a story. In the first post, I talked about how it’s sometimes more helpful to think of story structure not as an arc but as a circle, in which one half mirrors the other with the ending circling back upon the beginning.