Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Pinch Points In Fiction Writing


Never consciously thought about this before, but it’s a great reminder. Thanks, Sue! BTW, she has a great blog for mystery/crime/thriller writers.

Crime Fiction Writer Sue Coletta

A few people have recently asked me what Pinch Points are, which made me wonder if others are struggling with what they are and how to use them. After a quick Google search I realized there isn’t really much written on the subject, oddly enough. And they are crucial milestones in fiction writing because they show the face of evil in its purest form. The Pinch Points demonstrate what your hero is up against, what causes him/her to jolt straight up in bed, the bogey man in the nightmare.

“We need to see that antagonist form in its purest, most dangerous and intimidating form. Or if it isn’t dangerous then at least we need to feel it for ourselves.” — Larry Brooks

“An example, or a reminder, of the nature and implications of the antagonist force, that is not filtered by the hero’s experience.” — Larry Brooks, Story Engineering

evil eye


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Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, five chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

2 thoughts on “Pinch Points In Fiction Writing

  1. Nice reminder! I use one of those excel cheat sheets or beat sheets showing the page numbers where the pitch point should be located. I’m obsessed with it in the planning stages and at the beginning of a story and then lose track of it while getting engrossed in the story–and then have to go back and recheck the spots! Do you use a beat sheet? http://flossiebentonrogers.com


    • I just tried out beat sheets for my current WIP, since I needed to revamp the plot a bit. I like how the extra detail in the beat sheets (my outline doesn’t go as detailed as each scene) helps me see the rise and fall of the action/conflict, and I can see where the pinch points need to be. Thanks for stopping by!


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