Welcome back to Story Structure. Using our story we’re creating with Oliver and Sophia, we come to Pinch Point #2. Pinch Point #2 comes after the midpoint of your story, where the main conflict and stakes have been clearly established or escalated. This is about ¾ of the way through. In our story, this is after the revelation that the face reconstructed by Oliver is not Cassidy but her friend (let’s call her Erica) and the discovery of the photographs from Gia’s school project. You can catch up by clicking here to see the previous post.
This pinch point precedes Plot Point #2 (don’t get those mixed up), creating a buildup of tension and challenges that will be further escalated in Plot Point #2 (that we will talk about next time). The pinch point is a reminder of the antagonistic forces Sophia is up against. It’s a moment that reminds the audience of the imminent danger or high stakes, keeping the tension high.
The purpose of Pinch Point #2 is to apply pressure on the protagonist, often by showcasing the antagonist’s power or by introducing a new obstacle or setback for the protagonist.
This moment sets the stage for the climax of the story, ensuring that the narrative doesn’t lose momentum and keeps your readers engaged.
So, here’s how Pinch Point #2 might play out in the Oliver-Sophia story.
After Oliver and Sophia chase down the leads with the pictures—Sophia questioning her parents who plead with her to leave it alone and Sophia demanding to know what they do, but getting basically nowhere except to understand that her parents are terrified of her learning the truth. Whatever that may be.
And then one day shortly after, Oliver comes home to find his house on fire. All the evidence is lost. The antagonist has won this round.
So, that’s a huge setback, right? What will they do now? Great question. We’ll find out soon. But until then, take a look at your manuscript and see if you can lay out your story on a simple timeline up to this point. For example, this one would look something like this:
Seriously, it can be that simple. (Pardon the handwriting, I’m usually a typer.) Looking forward to hearing how your story structure is shaping up.
Until next time …