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The Reeve
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Story Outline


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What is a "pinch point?"

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10/2/2018, 11:50 am Link to this post Email Pastor Rick   PM Pastor Rick Blog
 
Joxcenia Profile
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Re: Story Outline


I Googled: Screenwriting Novel Writing Pinch Point

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I've seen 'pinch point' in my screenwriting books, so that's why I included that in the search.

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A pinch point is a reminder. It's a reminder of who the antagonist is and what is at stake. Further, this reminder isn't filtered by the hero's experience. In other words, it's not just how the hero sees the antagonist, or antagonistic force, this is how they are. Here we see their true nature. (Story Structure Series: #9 – Pinch Points, Larry Brooks)

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Last edited by Joxcenia, 10/3/2018, 1:26 am


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Re: Story Outline


Not ten years late, this time, so I'm doing better!

I think I'd just add that I've always viewed pinch points as an opportunity to ratchet up the story's tension. It's more than just spending a bit of time with the antagonist, getting to know them better; it's letting the reader/viewer perceive (perhaps more clearly than the protagonist) just how royally screwed the protagonist is. If plot points are the moments where things come to a head and the protagonist's world changes forever, pinch points are where we get those first feelings of dread in the pits of our stomachs.

A perfect example would be Saruman's "To waaaaaaaaar!" speech at Isengard, where we get to see the full might of his army mere moments after we think our heroes have made it to safety in Helm's Deep. Or The Spy Who Loved Me, when Strongberg kills his assistant and the two scientists, demonstrating how ruthless he is and thus how hard Bond will have to work to beat him. Or Deadpool where we see how happy he and Vanessa are together and we just know it's too good to be true.

These aren't the high, exciting climaxes; but they're a clear signpost that says, "Hey, it's coming!"

(I have no idea which idiot called them pinch points, though--the phrase puts me in mind of a bottleneck)

Last edited by Flasheart2006, 11/8/2018, 11:42 pm
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Lady of the Land
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Re: Story Outline


I have to admit I am not at all good with formal story structure. That's because I do this mostly intuitively - the typical attitude of a pantser. emoticon

(There is a better name for it. Dean Wesley Smith calls it "Writing Into the Dark". )

I would prefer calling the "pinch points" squeeze points. Because that's where you increase the pressure and tension. Also, in this particular structure, I would call the "plot points" turning points. Because that's where the story actually turns:

Plot Point One is where the hero makes the decision to go for it. Or maybe it is made for him or her or it. At any rate, the story moves from "beginning" to "middle". Things get serious and progressively worse. (Yes, there might be good things inbetween to lighten tension, etc.)

Plot Point Two is actually the classic "all is lost" point that tends to mark the shift from the "middle" to the climax and conclusion.

I tend to use plot point in a much loser way, they are basically the landmarks on my journey into the darkness or fog (love the Terry Pratchett quote) - moments and scenes I already know I want to hit in my story. They are minor, really.

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Re: Story Outline


I think it is a good idea to change the story structure 'titles' to ones that best suits the individual writer. Whatever helps you to know when and where to do this and that. I don't see why a writer can't rework any and all of the rules, if it benefits their writing.





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Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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