TV Tropes Org

Forums

Writer's Block:
The Turning Point
search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [22]
1

The Turning Point:

 1 Ori Doodle, Mon, 24th Oct '11 11:41:13 PM from Tracking Down My Nemesis Relationship Status: Sharing a spaghetti noodle
Blondes Have More Fun
Your character, if you are working on development (like you should be :D) oughta have a turning point. For amny of my characters, that point is shown in a line of dialogue, as they come to a realization about themselves or the world or the plot that changes their outlook and plan.

What are your character's turning point? Pot a few lines, be it dialogue or inner-monologue or something else. Nothing too lengthy.

For sidwen, it is this realization:

"The dragonlings he had raised were not the sacred creatures he had long revered. The small lizards that had spent so many weeks curled against his chest were grown now. Wreathed in flame and smoke, necks extended and mouths agape in otherworldly song, they were undeniably alien creatures. For the first time, Sidwen wondered if by helping Vatari he had doomed his world."

For Perseus it is much simpler. "You have shown me by the strength of your sword and by Cassia's words that I was wrong to believe the Water Lord. I will stand down, and tell Ursa to do the same."

So, what's yours?

edited 24th Oct '11 11:41:43 PM by OriDoodle

Forum Herald for the Old Folk's Home

Team Mom For Yackfest

 2 annebeeche, Tue, 25th Oct '11 12:13:09 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Hmm, it seems to be characteristic of my work that the protagonist does not have a turning point, and in fact, it's only the surrounding characters that do. Borghild does not come to a realization about anything, her outlook on the world does not change, but her behavior worsens with Skj÷ld's disappearance. Meanwhile, Skj÷ld comes to terms with the horrible, irreversible things that have happened to him, and realizes what sacrifice must be made in order to put some kind of end to Borghild's injustice. After making said sacrifice, he realizes that he is a murderer, and worries that he has become selfish like Borghild, so it's like a full 360 degree turn from despair back to despair.

Jack Clive does not have realizations either, but a series of tragic events crush his spirits, including imprisonment. In the end he is able to find the willpower to keep his chin up, though his situation does not improve.

dragonlings
Erm, this word doesn't quite flow. May I suggest 'wyrmling'? Though I'm not sure if that doesn't sound cheesy...
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 3 Mild Guy, Tue, 25th Oct '11 12:20:12 AM from the bed I made.
I squeeze gats.
I haven't figured it out yet. The crucial turning point will probably involve sex. And explosions. Sex explosions.

edited 25th Oct '11 12:20:49 AM by MildGuy

 4 Dec, Tue, 25th Oct '11 12:35:01 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
^ Are you sure you're not thinking of the climax?

I haven't actually written it yet, but after my MC spends years building a gigantic web of insane lies, he finally realizes the only way to keep his family safe is by revealing all of them.

He goes to his arch nemesis, who now seems like small fish in comparison to the current situation, and tells him to watch his back because something huge is coming. They go back and forth for a while, like usual, and then the MC reveals that during the conversation they've just had he's already moved his family and friends into hiding, destroys the lab, and vanishes. And then shit starts getting crazy.

edited 25th Oct '11 12:44:06 AM by Dec

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
 5 Night, Tue, 25th Oct '11 1:35:49 AM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
For Signum, it's when Samuel gives his commentary on her complaints about her life being devoted to perfecting the craft of death. "So what? The craft and the tools of death are a craft and tools. They have no morality. Only the craftworker does."

For Samuel, I am honestly unsure. It would be easy to list his various major events, but which ones have actually changed him are hard to determine. It's probably still to come, in all honesty.

K-11-2 is easy. The day he quit.
"Remember that you are fighting the machine and the pilot both, but you only have to beat one of them."
 6 Mr AHR, Tue, 25th Oct '11 12:26:12 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
Mine has no turning point. This is probably indicative of my bad characterization, but to be honest, at the end of the story, my character is largely the same, all the differences are far too subtle, because just because the story ended, his childhood did not. He still has a lot to grow.

Yeah, I don't know how to plot a character arc for the life of me.

The only time I ever made a turning point for a character is one that was magically done, and that was to remove a specific type of trauma.

edited 25th Oct '11 12:27:21 PM by MrAHR

 7 chihuahua 0, Tue, 25th Oct '11 1:53:03 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
[up] Are you talking about the first installment, or the series as a whole? While for the former, it isn't really required, it's good to have some obvious character development by the very end. It's unrealistic to have a young character go through a lot and come out the same.

Now, for Manifestation Files (besides inciting incidents for the character arcs):

For Bryan, it's when he gains his psychic powers, kills a Prime, and get her goo all over him. His life changes from there.

For Finn, it's a little later, either during the brightest moment or during the darkest moment.

Amy's? I still need to define her character arc (I have a few ideas from Draft 2 to structure it), but let's say she doesn't take death very well. In a milder extent, it's when she reveals her powers to Bryan, which sparks up the romantic arc.

For minor characters, Jeb's turning point is when he attacks one of the other characters. Kyle's is going to be somewhere when Finn replaces him as Bryan's best friend. Scout? Wait for next book.

edited 25th Oct '11 1:56:38 PM by chihuahua0

 8 Mr AHR, Tue, 25th Oct '11 2:22:42 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
The first series as a whole.

And, personally, I find the epiphanies way more unrealistic, especially with people saying "OMG YOU'VE CHANGED."

edited 25th Oct '11 2:23:11 PM by MrAHR

 9 Mild Guy, Tue, 25th Oct '11 2:26:45 PM from the bed I made.
I squeeze gats.
[up]X5 No. The climax will be full on sexplosions. And liquor.

Okay, for serious, I have the ending and beginning more or less decided on, but the mid-point alludes me. Guess I need to understand my characters better. Though, now that I've written that post up thread, I do wonder if I could manage the Turning Point during a sex scene. People are always whining that sex scenes add nothing to a story, after all. Mmm... Sounds like an engaging challenge.

And yeah, famous characters like James Bond and Conan and other pulp classics never bothered to have a character arc, or change as a person. They make their crucial choice near the beginning of the story and most of the story ends up as one big climax. Not a bad way to go, if you can pull it off.

edited 25th Oct '11 2:28:28 PM by MildGuy

 10 nrjxll, Tue, 25th Oct '11 5:59:28 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I strongly dislike the idea of insta-character development, with there being one big event that completely alters the character. While I think you can find specific "turning points" for most of mine, they aren't "instant epiphanies": generally speaking I prefer my character development to be a long-term, gradual process. This is one reason why I like longer works.

 11 Major Tom, Tue, 25th Oct '11 6:05:54 PM Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Eye'm the cutest!
^ I kinda work the same way. There are several specific points at which peeks of Character Depth or even outright overt changes to the character across my series. Any of them could be constituted as "the turning point" but they all add up on each other revealing insights, changing personalities and expressions, even their very nature over time.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 12 chihuahua 0, Tue, 25th Oct '11 6:11:23 PM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
In my case, most of my turning points aren't instant development. They're more like the straw that broke the camel's back. As in, the trigger that finish off the build up. It's a way to indicate that they had changed.

 13 Merlo, Tue, 25th Oct '11 6:12:08 PM from the masochist chamber
*hrrrrrk*
^^^ I'm trying to avoid that "instant epiphany" thing in the (short) work I'm doing at the moment. [Character] does hit a sort of "turning point" in that there is a specific moment where things stop getting worse, but I wanted to leave the ending open to whether or not he's going to make a full recovery, or will just keep wallowing in misery. Sisyphus may have accepted his situation, but that's not necessarily going to translate to contentment or happiness.

edited 25th Oct '11 6:12:24 PM by Merlo

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...
 14 Night, Tue, 25th Oct '11 6:22:41 PM from PSNS Intrepid Relationship Status: Drift compatible
Who you are does not matter.
Actually, I'm now forced to revise this.

Samuel doesn't have a turning point. This doesn't stop him from developing, but it is in a completely different fashion. As a result of the rank and position he enters the story with, his development comes in the form of more of his human side being seen by other characters rather than the mask of command.
"Remember that you are fighting the machine and the pilot both, but you only have to beat one of them."
 15 feotakahari, Tue, 25th Oct '11 7:37:15 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Interesting . . .

In a lot of what I've written, a character has an incomplete conception of their true nature (e.g. a mimic who consistently avoids making decisions) or a misguided conception of their desired nature (e.g. a sorcerer who's afraid of his own power.) They slowly come to care about another person, and are ultimately given the option to contradict their perceived true nature or their desired nature in order to help that person. I've spun this quite a few ways:

  • Both characters change

  • Neither character changes, and tragedy ensues

  • Each character changes in a different way than they initially think they'll change

  • Both characters change for the worse

  • Both characters suffer or die, but their actions cause change in a third person

  • One character changes, but we see it all from the perspective of the person who changes them

  • The story ends with the main character debating whether or not to change

Edit @ Mild Guy: I've done multiple turning points during, after, or immediately preceding sex scenes. They're a good way to build up how much two characters care about each other.

edited 25th Oct '11 7:50:11 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 16 Mild Guy, Tue, 25th Oct '11 8:02:18 PM from the bed I made.
I squeeze gats.
[up] Were those smexy turning points for romance stories or a different genre? 'Cause I'm leaning toward action/adventure.

 17 feotakahari, Tue, 25th Oct '11 8:38:29 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
[up] They weren't all intended to be romances, but they became romances before that point. (For what it's worth, I've been told that one I'm working on is closer to "fantasy adventure, " though I think of it as a romance at this point.)

[down]And for what it's worth, I've done friendship-driven character development, too. (I don't think I've developed any character in isolation.)

edited 25th Oct '11 9:17:11 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 18 nrjxll, Tue, 25th Oct '11 8:51:19 PM Relationship Status: Not war
NO, NOT ROMANCE-DRIVEN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!

...Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration of my response. But it does seem a little cliche.

 19 Ori Doodle, Tue, 25th Oct '11 10:15:22 PM from Tracking Down My Nemesis Relationship Status: Sharing a spaghetti noodle
Blondes Have More Fun
I think I should have elaborated a tiny bit. Glad this sparked such an interesting conversation though!

A turning point, to me, really is the point where all the little straws and issues pile up on character and either break them, fix them, or start to mold them into someone new (for better or worse). Most often in my work, this is characterized by a "ping" moment. Its' the second of their life that they realize what they've been ignoring or denying all along.

So no, I too am not a believer in the instant epiphany. However, to an outside observer in-story, that moment of "ping" for the character may seem instantaneous because they missed the build-up. If I do my job right, the reader will not have missed the build-up.

edited 25th Oct '11 10:16:33 PM by OriDoodle

Forum Herald for the Old Folk's Home

Team Mom For Yackfest

 20 Troll Post, Wed, 26th Oct '11 2:41:07 AM from troll post crusher

 21 feotakahari, Wed, 26th Oct '11 2:47:32 AM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
^ If this is spam, it's the weirdest spam I've ever seen.
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 22 Morven, Wed, 26th Oct '11 3:19:56 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
Huh, well, new user, first post, link to a site that appears to be selling a guide to storytelling. Amazingly well-targeted spam, it seems.
A brighter future for a darker age.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 22
1


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy