on Writers Helping Writers:
Once I learned structure and could visualize the pattern beneath my favorite novels, movies, and streaming series, I felt like I’d been handed the keys to a magical kingdom. Employing structure elevated my writing to the next level. This knowledge helped me score my first publishing contract. Powerful stuff, structure.
Some say, planning a novel in advance destroys creativity. I believe the opposite is true. Regardless, it’s important to hit certain milestones for the novel to work. Two of those milestones are called Pinch Points.
New writers often concentrate on the Hook, Midpoint, and the big twist at the end. But without well-placed Pinch Points, the story will lose its sense of rising action, conflict, and tension. The quest cannot exist without an opponent, and the Pinch Points show the reader what that opposition is all about.
Pinch Points show how high the stakes are. They also set up the emotional change within the hero as they react to the new situation.