The Golden Ring of Moments

31 Dec

I know I promised another installment in the “How Creative People Think” series but…

Well, I don’t want to do that today. Yes, I know that is a horrible excuse. I apologize. But what I am writing today I feel is even more important! Gasp you say, more important then delving into the creative mind and discover its mysteries while simultaneously gaining evidence that will finally allow Alex to be committed to a physc ward?

Yes. Much more important. Today I’m talking about the essential Moments that must must must occur in a novel. Theses moments are what you keep you up under the covers fingering through pages by cell phone light long into the early morning hours. I’m talking about making THAT book. You know the one I’m talking about. The one that went by so fast you barely had time to inhale all the words, the one you read so quickly when you closed the cover you felt breathless and at a loss by the fact that you were staring at its back cover.

1.THE HOOK

To start THAT book you have to have a hook. That first line that makes the fish bite. That little piece of food on the end better be some prime rib or New York strip. That’s what makes them bite and hooks them onto the line, ready for the reeling! 

2. THE FIRST MOMENT OF EMPATHY AND RECOGNITION

Some where in the first twenty to fifty pages the reader has to make a connection with the character something that makes them root for them. You have to make the character interesting  but the reader doesn’t root for them just because they are too cool for school, they only begin to root for a character when they have empathy for them or when they have gotten themselves into a pickle.

3. THE “THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED” MOMENT

This is the most important moment in the story. It is your first plot point, and more often or not the point where the reader decides if they really want to continue reading. This change has to be big. Something unexpected and completely uncalled for. This is the Catalyst of the story where the character is thrown into action. This ones the game changer. The moment where readers now feel they have to see how this ends!

4. THE MOMENT OF FEAR AND REALITY

After everything has changed you must have your character react. This reaction swings the story into full force but you need to keep the moment going. So your next plot point is called the pinch point. The moment where the antagonist appears strikes fear into your character or brings on a reality. This moment “raises the stakes” and reminds the reader of what stands in the protagonist way at this juncture.

5. THE MOMENT OF DISCOVERY

This is the moment when the curtain parts and the reader, the protagonist, or both discover something previously unknown. At the mid point something BIG needs to be revealed. Something that brings a previously unknown element into the story. This like the “Then Everything Changed Moment” is another huge game changer.

6. THE MOMENT WHEN ALL SEEMS LOST

This is the point where you pull the rug right out from under your characters precious little feet. BAM! They are down and it looks like they are out for the count. They have conquered their inner turmoil and/or outer foes but the antagonist is one tuff cookie and it looks like your good ol’ boy (or girl) is done for good. Right now the Hero’s outcome should not be looking rosy. It should be looking dark. VERY DARK.

This is the moment where even though the reader knows better they truly believe the hero is done for and can not put the book down till they see his/her return to safety.

7. THE MOMENT OF VICTORY OR RESOLUTION

The End. You should not need those words to finish the story. The story itself should feel done. To do this you must that your character is the catalyst of the ending to the plot. (Notice I did not say your character must make it end happily)  I believe describing the ending of a story was best said by Larry on Storyfix.com:


The key here is the genius of the machinations that have sucked the reader into an empathetic, supportive mode as they read the denouement, which means they are emotionally on the hook.  Putty in your hands.

Make the ending count.  This isn’t about tying off loose ends, it’s about delivering a punch to the gut – or a shot of the world’s best narcotic – to the reader’s sense of experience, world view and hope.  This is the golden ring of moments. 

 I conclude this only by saying complete your “golden ring of moments” and make it shine. Have I left anything out here? I’d love to hear your opinions on these moments!

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8 Responses to “The Golden Ring of Moments”

  1. HaleyWhitehall December 31, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Very concisely and clearly stated. I think I have the problem of blending moments 3 and 4 together. I know all the essential moments but writing them into my storyline is not yet second nature. I’m still learning. I think every one should learn and improve with each new project.

    • nkeda14 December 31, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

      Yeah I agree. knowing something and applying it are two totally diffrent things. 😀

  2. thewatersedgecarrie January 4, 2011 at 2:23 am #

    i have a lot of trouble getting from point A to point B, its just so much better to go from A to E lol !!!!!

    • nkeda14 January 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      Yeah it is! thats why I like setting it all out in a list like this. It keeps me focused. I am a big “small goals” person. Baby steps you know? :

  3. Maisie June 2, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Ah, this was so helpful. And so adaptable, too. I don’t write fantasy or adventure so most of the blogs/advice out there is redundant and, when I first saw this, I thought it would be too – but it wasn’t. I have saved this on my favourites to come back to whenever I get stuck. Thanks!

    • nkeda14 June 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      Your welcome 😀

      I hope you find some of the other articles helpful too! Thank you for commenting!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Top 11 Posts of 2011 « NOVEL IDEAS - December 16, 2011

    […] 4. The Golden Ring of Moments […]

  2. Novel Anatomy: Bones « NOVEL IDEAS - March 11, 2012

    […] If you all recall I had a post up the first month or so I had this site called “The Golden Ring of Moments” it was an incoherent thing that listed the 7 key moments readers have to have in a novel. If you’d like to interpret that you can see it HERE. […]

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