The second pinch point comes right after the first one. This is the beginning of Act three and Act two. So it’s right after the post-midpoint action hero. In the post-midpoint hero, the protagonist builds a new plan, and they start executing that plan and no longer have as many fears. There they feel like they’re on the right path. So the second pinch point happens after that. We already talked about the first pinch point. Please check it and follow the tips for writing the second pinch point.
How to write second pinch point?
The second pinch point is where you’re ramping up the tension with the villain again, similar to the first pinch point, but there are a few key differences. Plotting the novel with the pinch points in mind or editing the book with the second pinch points in mind can help you better understand how you move through the story.
In the beginning, you may have met some characters, allies, and antagonists who will only be aware of the protagonist of the hero. But when you start getting into the story, the antagonist is generally in direct opposition to the protagonist. It may not be personal initially, and it could be personal if the protagonist is chosen or if they’re the only one. Their role has been predetermined to be the savior or to stop the antagonist like Harry Potter and Voldemort.
Here are five tips on how to write to the second pinch point. Let’s go!
1. Reveal the true villain
This is part of the story where you sew in the first pinch point. The main thing about the first pinch point is that you are building up the tension, and your villains are in the shadows and don’t know who they’re fighting, but they’re fighting someone or a proxy villain who’s not the true villain. In Lord of the Rings, when Frodo begins his journey, he knows that Sauron is the villain, but it’s not his immediate threat.
The other people are the more immediate danger, but they’re not the true villain. We are moving to where it’s more of the true villain, and you can still subvert expectations if it’s a series. In our story, the whole series villain or the villain of a few books may not be revealed, but this book’s villain will be revealed when it’s a standalone novel.
I would suggest this is a great time to reveal your villain and danger fully. If it’s a series, you can reveal the true villain of the story, or you can reveal the villain of this book. For instance, go back to Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time. They know who the true villain is the whole time, but they don’t necessarily confront that villain. They confront proxy villains or threats that are more of an immediate problem.
2. Give control
The hero has more control of the situation, but more is needed. So in the first pinch point, we talked about how the hero has zero control. They are new to the journey. They have no powers or strengths or don’t even know how to fight. They have no control over the situation.
When this comes back, they’ve had all these different experiences throughout the story. So they have more of a chance this time. Ultimately, it will be a partial disaster for them.
3. Set a strong plan
The plan from the post-midpoint hero begins to work. The plan they created, as in the post midpoint, still needs to be the right. It still needs to be based on what they need to be doing. But the plan will start to work because they’re closer. They’re more on the right track.
So meeting the villain or whoever you’re going to have to meet at this moment isn’t going to be a total coincidence, and it’s going to be a semi-part of the plan, something they’re trying to do. So it’s not going to be the end of the story.
Obviously, we have much more to Act 3 that will ultimately resolve everything in the story. But it’s still possible once again. They can make their plan happen and are more on the right track.
4. Keep the danger
Keep the danger, but hope is still possible. The pinch points are designed to up the tension. So you’re building tension throughout your whole story. But the pinch points are a jump in tension. So where you have the build-up, and you have these other parts of Act one and two, they slowly build tension.
When you get to the pinch points, it’s a jump in tension. There needs to be a danger, but it’s still possible. So whereas in the first one, they would have been entirely out of control and had no hope. They need to prepare to handle it.
So, therefore, they have no hope in the situation. The second pinch point is where they have some hope and confidence and can pull this off. Will they or won’t they? We have more of the story, but they are still possible.
5. Set them up to win
This part of the story is called the Supposed Victory. We need to set them up to win eventually. They may lose this moment, but you’re still setting them up to win to where they’re heading in the right direction. We already talked about that a bit, where they’re going in the right direction because hope is still possible. They may still lose, but they’re set up to win with the things that are coming with the things that happen in the story.
I hope now you understand the second pinch point clearly. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comment section. I will solve your problems or answer them as soon as possible. Happy writing!
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