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The Ultimate "Aha" Moment

Lesson 12 from: FAST CLASS: Wired for Story: How to Become a Story Genius

Lisa Cron

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Lesson Info

12. The Ultimate "Aha" Moment

Lesson Info

The Ultimate "Aha" Moment

the ultimate ah ha moment. And that means that I know you're probably thinking, Wait a minute. We waited all day to get to the other side of that and media stress, and we just did the opening scene. And now you want us to come all the way over here to the ultimate ah ha moment. Like why? Why are we doing that now? When there's a fair question? The reason is because starting from over here, if you don't know exactly what you're aiming for and exactly what that Ah ha moment is gonna bay chances are you will go off track going forward. It's sort of like the difference between saying, Well, wait a minute, you know, we just did that problem and we have some idea what that's gonna be. So can't we just right in that direction and it's like saying, Okay, I know I want to go this way. I'm going to go this way. But now you start going this way and you're not really sure exactly where you're trying to get to or exactly how to get to it. And it's very easy to then go with strength. It's it's what ...

you're looking to do is the difference between that and saying, OK, I am leaving my house right here in San Francisco and I'm going to New York, right? We know what direction New York is in. We have a basic idea there. There's more than one way to get there. But we know basically had to get there and where we're headed. And that means when you leave San Francisco, if suddenly you discover that you're actually headed towards Saskatchewan, which I'm assuming is not near New York because I'm very geographically challenged, you might be going way. It's a sketch one in New York there, right next to each other. But let's assume it's over here. Suddenly you're going to Saskatchewan. You're gonna go. Wait a minute. I realize that's not where I'm headed. I'm actually headed over here. In fact, this journey that I thought was going to take me there is taking me here. I need to go back and change a bit of what I've got before and now I need to rearrange to go forward to get up there. Does this catch one? It will keep you on track. Another words, When we talked in the beginning about all stories Make a point. And if you don't know what that point is, how can you write a story that will make it this ultimate ah ha! Moment is the moment when your story makes its point. The ah ha moment is the instant when your protagonist finally sees her miss belief for what it actually is wrong. Now, the thing about a miss belief is that it's not necessarily the last scene in your novel. In fact, it usually isn't there three places where that ultimate ah ha moment tend to happen. Um, the first is sort of the closest. It is almost always in the last 20% in the first place. It tends to occur is at the moment when the protagonist has finally got to leap that last giant hurdle, the one where if they had had any clue that this is where it was going when they woke up that morning, they would have stayed in bed and waited for it all to blow over. But they've hit that place and they don't think they can do it. And now somehow they see there there miss belief for what it is and either it lets them know that. Yeah, you can solve this problem or it gives them the courage to try. So what, you want to ask yourself to really dive into this Teoh, find out where your protagonist, miss belief, is gonna bite the dust is ask yourself given you know the plot problem. You know where you're beginning, what is going to happen externally that is going to force her to confront and overcome her miss belief. What's gonna happen out there now? Keep in mind, as we said earlier that it's not like she's gonna flatline. And then something big is gonna happen here and she's gonna realize it. She has been earning her way toward this scene from the very beginning. Scene by scene by scene, by seeing something happens, she realizes something new. Try something. It doesn't work. Now. She changes a bit. Her her plan for achieving her agenda shifts a bit. It goes forward all the way through until finally, it's a the moment where she is going to see her miss belief for what it iss. It's wrong. It's what's been holding her back. It's almost always the irony that the protagonists thought the Miss belief was helping them get the thing that they wanted, like, just like we were talking about, some kind of wonderful. He thinks if he gets Amanda Jones, that's gonna give him what he wants and suddenly because Miss belief is I'm not. I'm not worthy by myself, and that is what's driving him toward to do it. Once he realizes that isn't what I wanted, he realizes I am okay enough myself. I don't need that. So the miss belief is often it's what keeps the protagonist from getting what they want, but they don't know if they think it's helping them. They think it's a positive thing. They think it's a good thing. There's always that irony of the thing. I think that saving me is actually the thing that's keeping me from what I'm actually looking for. So you want to ask yourself what in that last thing that you have been building toward what is going to happen that's going to force them to confront that miss belief and then you want to ask yourself what will your protagonist realized? Because this is exactly like the origin scene that we talked about in every scene. They're going to realize something. They're going to draw a conclusion exactly the way that they did in the origin. Seen something is going to switch. They're going to see the world with new eyes. As T. S. Eliot said the end of our of our journey is to arrive at where we began and to see the place for the first time. That is what they're going to dio miss Believe gone. They're gonna look back and they're going to see things differently again. Like as we said, story is about how the plot forces the protagonist to make the unconscious conscious. Now it's come up to the surface there, looking at it. What conclusion did they draw? This is where your story makes its point. This is what your reader has been on the ride for. And that's why when this happens, you want to put us inside your protagonists head. You don't wanna have them suddenly realize something and act on it, and we don't see how they came to that realization. Story is in the way We process information. It's not in what your protagonist does. It's in why

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Marianthi Tzanakakis
 

I was introduced to writing tools and techniques, I didn't know existed. Now I feel I have a much better grasp in what it takes to write a truly great novel.

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