Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. (Matthew 28:6, NLT)
The turning point in a story is the moment when the action takes a new, different direction. It’s a pivot. Things change.
For instance, The Wizard of Oz’s turning point? Dorothy drenches the Wicked Witch of the West with a bucket of water while defending her friends. What a surprise! The evil green-nosed enchantress melts. At that moment, Dorothy becomes a hero. Now, she and the motley crew can return to the Wizard so he can make good on his promises – in Dorothy’s case, a return home to Kansas.
It’s at the turning point when Dorothy surprises even herself. She discovers she has the ability to solve her own problems.
Scripture is packed with turning points that lead us in unexpected directions: Eve bites the apple. Paul is blinded on the Damascus road. Jesus’s followers discover an empty tomb.
It’s the element of surprise that makes a turning point so effective. Who would have thought that a wholesome young girl could destroy a wicked dictator with a bucket of water? And who would have dreamt that a perfect Man would rise from the dead?
A good story has a surprising – rather than predictable – turning point.
A good story has a surprising turning point.
You are a God of surprises. Help me not to be predictable. Show me how to write stories that pivot in ways that delight and surprise readers so they remember the point.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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