Turning Point #1: An Opportunity for Shrek…and a few others

A Turning Point is where our hero is presented with an opportunity, which will create a new, visible desire, and will start the character on their journey.  If you refer to The Six Stage Plot Structure, our heroes are destined to experience 4 such turning points over the course of their story.  Let’s take a look at Turning Point #1 as they are all a bit different. 

Turning Point #1 presents our hero with an opportunity which often times takes the hero to a new geographic location.  In the movie Shrek, our hero initially wants his peaceful swamp back.  Lord Farquaad promises Shrek that if he rescues Princess Fiona, he may have his swamp back.  This opportunity takes Shrek in search of Princess Fiona.

Our hero travels to an unfamiliar land


At times in a movie or novel, Turning Point #1 will reveal itself as an opportunity lost, thus creating a new and stronger desire for our hero. This is the case with my current WIP.  At the start of Forbidden Signs, Terra and her longtime friend Con are about to embark on a romantic relationship.  Following mysterious events at his 16th Birthday party, he abruptly ends their budding relationship without explanation.  Terra’s new desire is to now investigate what prompted this drastic change of heart.  As a reminder, a lost opportunity for your hero, along with several other devices discussed in Stage I, creates empathy and will help draw your readers closer to your hero. 

When I first started writing this blog post, I didn’t have a clue as to how to relate Turning Point #1 to our everyday lives.  More than likely I planned to write about Jordyn Wieber.  While she lost the opportunity to earn an individual Goal Medal in the All Around competition, she still journeyed with her teammates to the Gold in The Team Competition.  The mere definition of a turning point listed above happened in my writing life last week when I learned that I was a Finalist in The Maggie’s writing competition.  There is nothing like a bit of positive reinforcement to light a fire under a writer.  Since that announcement, I’ve been working steadily, if not obsessively, on my revisions.  The desire to polish and shine Forbidden Signs for submissions is the same desire I had two weeks ago.  Only now, due to an opportunity, I want it reach that finish line that much faster.

About RoseAnn DeFranco

Author - Humorous Contemporary Romance & Young Adult Romance
This entry was posted in Forbidden Signs, The Hero's Journey and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Turning Point #1: An Opportunity for Shrek…and a few others

  1. Good luck with The Maggie’s…and your revisions…

  2. hieubietusa says:

    Nice observations…I made note of several…
    after all is said and done…the turning point is the delated hook for he audience

  3. Nice post! Turning points are something I have to plot out with care as I mostly just write the story and then go back for revisions to make sure there’s Goal/Motivation/Conflict. Tara

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      For every writer out there, there is a slightly different process. The Six Stage Plot Structure works for both plotters on the front end and pantsers once the draft is finished. I’m a bit of both, so I use it as more of a guideline to stay on track. Then I go back and try to amp it up, which usually means the TP’s!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Good for you. I’m glad that fire has been ignited. You are amazing

  5. nettrobbens says:

    Hi RoseAnn,
    Thanks for stopping by and following my blog! Shrek is one of my favorite characters. I always get a better understanding of the hero’s journey just by watching him. Great post and insight!


  6. Pingback: Turning Point #2: A Change of Plans | R.A. DeFranco Author – Young Adult Fantasy & Contemporary Romance

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