Turning Point #2 of The Six Stage Plot Structure marks a hero’s CHANGE OF PLANS. It is here that a NEW DESIRE is created with a clearly defined end point. Hollywood loves this one, mainly because the hero starts to pursue a new and clearly visible goal. It is the tangible that gives audiences something to cheer for. This TP is different than the hero’s initial desire from Turning Point #1.
Audiences have certain expectations when it comes to films. Going back to Peter Parker in The Amazing Spiderman, at Turning Point #2 Peter discovers what Dr. Curt Connors has become. He now has an end goal to stop him and save the world. In the movie Brave, Merida’s original goal is to escape an arranged marriage. At this new Turning Point the stakes are much higher as her desire is now to save her mother’s life.
In my current WIP, Forbidden Signs, Terra reluctantly acclimates to her new role as the Earth Goddess in an Elemental World during Stage II. Turning Point #2 brings the realization that she must find the Sacred Elemental Medallions in order to save Planet Earth. That is a lot of pressure for a sixteen year old! Fortunately she has her fellow young God’s along for help and support.
Writers must keep in mind not to confuse this new outer motivation with the hero’s inner journey. Much of what audiences and readers respond to emotionally stems from the hero’s wounds and growth into their essence. While the audience wants Katniss to reach her end goal – survival in The Hunger Games – we connect and are moved by her inner growth and journey.
Turning Point #2 in our World
Examples of Turning Point #2 are readily visible in our society. We hear stories in the news all the time about an individual’s struggle toward their end goal. At some point, an athlete made the decision to work towards that Olympic Gold medal. Maybe they saw their parents struggle for a better life, or maybe someone told them that they weren’t good enough which ignited their resolve. At a time in her life, a mother is told that she has a terminally ill child and determines to fight to see that her child gets the proper medical care against all odds.
Inspiration and heroes walk beside us every day. Who are some of your favorite heroes in history, movies, books, current world news, or in your own life? Each hero came to their crossroads or change of plans and triumphed to reach their end point.