Last week I awoke from a hectic dream where I was the central character at a moment of high drama. I was aware that the world was fully formed in the background and the moment of the dream was a wonderful plot twist where the villain tried to destroy me but instead empowered me. There were four basic facts I needed to remember and I repeated them over and over in the hope that I would still remember them when I woke in the morning. Fortunately it worked.
As I re-imagined that scene from my dream, I realised that it was the key pivotal point in a much greater story. I could very easily trace backwards in time and see the steps that had to have occurred in order for me to arrive at that moment, indeed the pivotal moment practically dictated the starting point. I realised too that the rest of the story was simply playing out the inevitable consequences of that pivotal moment. I sat down for an hour and, seven pages later, I had mapped out the entire plot line for a high fantasy novel. The pivotal moment is not the climax, indeed it may not even be at a moment of crisis, neither is it just one of the key moments which joins a novel together like a dot to dot puzzle. It is the point to which the characters move from the beginning and from which the characters travel to the end.
Can you identify a pivotal moment in your favourite book. Can you identify one in your own book?