Larry Brooks of StoryFix was interviewed yesterday at Advanced Fiction Writing about his latest book, Story Engineering and the art of building the perfect story.
Randy Ingermanson talked with Larry about several concepts outlined in his book, a must-read for any writer looking to take their story to the next level.
Randy: One of your concepts on Story Structure that was new to me was your idea of “pinch points.” What is a pinch point and why does a story need one?
Larry: It’s from the movies, and it works great in novels. The driving source of tension in a story is the presence, the pressure, of an antagonistic force. We meet or sense that force early, we experience it at Plot Point One, and then it’s up to the author as to how we experience or see this antagonist. But we must see it and feel it again, and more than once. Pinch points are, very simply, when the antagonist comes to center stage, in context to what it/they want to achieve and how it opposes and threatens the hero and her/his quest. In a story about cancer, the cancer would rear its ugly head at the pinch points in a way that reminds us what’s at stake, what’s at risk and what the hero must conquer. The optimal locations are the 3/8th and 5/8ths points in the story, at a minimum, but more can be better, too. Because those moments often occur frequently, we can easily miss them as pinch points. But that doesn’t change the power of them when they are inserted in the right place, even if they are in nearly every scene otherwise.
Read the whole interview here.