So I went to a meeting earlier this week
(one of those healthy-personal-discovery-growth kinds of things)
where we looked at the defining moments of our lives.

Defining Moments. DMs.

You know.
Those moments, good or bad,
where something comes in,
unexpected
and nothing is the same, afterward.

It’s the
BAM!
Big change.
Or it’s the little * POOF *
puffing newness into our lives.
Or it’s the whoooosh
of something flying in and catching us off guard.

And, once it happens,
there’s no going back.

Life as we know it is forever altered.

As a writer, I was thinking,
oh yeah.
the inciting incident.
the doors of no return.
Gotcha.
(Everything is turned into writer-speak, is it not?)

So we did this page
(a graphic timeline, to be exact…
and I’m holding it in my hand, so I can say this…
okay, my academic instructor is showing…
back to DMs…)
I’m sitting there looking at the graphic timeline,
I went, hey,
this is more than like a story.

Peaks.
Valleys.
The rising character arc.
change. change. change.

By golly,
the DMs were running all over the place.
WAY running all over the place.
As in, sheeesh, do I really have that many Defining Moments in my life?
(And the answer was, uh, yeah.)

As a writer, I’ve always worried, you know?
Worried that I have too many
“doors of no return” in my story —
too many Defining Moments,
too many BAMs and * POOFs * and whooshes.

And that the reader would say,

Really? Aren’t you exaggerating a bit?
I mean, that many WHOA DUDE moments
don’t happen in real life.
(at least, to most of us)
This is far fetched. Really. Come on.

Well, maybe I’m a bit unusual
(no comment from the peanut gallery here)
but I was OMGing all over the place
at how many DMs —
Defining Moments —
I really had.

And how they changed me.

Naturally,
the obsessed writer that I am,
I turned this into hours of considering my story
(and now will turn it into hours of writing DMs
into my characters’ lives).

Every time a Defining Moment comes along
we are changed.

Writerly moral of the story
(because that’s how we function)….
Go ahead.
Write it in.
Make the DM bring change.

Your character arc-ish-ness story line
will thank you.

* Thup

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