Point of no return

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  • #16
    Re: Point of no return

    PONR typically happens at the middle of act two. Typically that puts it in the page 55-60 range, depending on the length of your acts.


    Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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    • #17
      Re: Point of no return

      Up to this point, she had the option of turning back, giving up on her plan, and returning to the life she was living at the beginning of the film. But now your hero must burn her bridges behind her and put both feet in.
      This for me defines the PONR. If Luke had the option of turning back and returning to his old life at any other point in the story when did it happen?

      Up to this point, she had the option of turning back,
      Ben urges Luke to join him but Luke relents because he is torn between his committments to his parents and his temptation to follow Ben. He still has the option to turn back and "returning to the life he was living at the beginning at the story" at this point.

      But now your hero must burn her bridges behind her and put both feet in.
      As I described in my previous post.

      While I fully understand what you are saying it seems there is a very, very fine line which separates the PONR from the POA. What separates them for me is the "option of turning back". If the PONR comes at the point in the story at which you believe it does than at what point did Luke have a chance to return to his old life? Luke does not have this while he is aboard the Falcon. He has already fully committed to his goal of following Ben, becoming a Jedi and maybe defeating the Empire. Any chance of him returning to his old life is gone the moment he leaves Tattooine. And if he were to go back what does he have to go back to? Nothing. He's as committed as he's ever gonna be. Also...

      POST POINT OF NO RETURN:
      "Only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.-
      -Chekhov

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      • #18
        Re: Point of no return

        Deus,

        Just so you won't hink I'm ignoring you, I'm signing off now and won't be back for a few days, at least.
        "Only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.-
        -Chekhov

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        • #19
          Re: Point of no return

          BTN,

          I think we can safely say we agree that it is the option of retreat, or lack of, that defines the PONR.

          At what point does going back risk more than going forward?

          That, for me, is the Point of NO return.

          Luke can still refuse Obi Wan's invitation to join him after discovering his family has been killed and nothing would be at stake for Luke or the greater conflict.

          When Luke agrees to join Obi Wan, Luke is attacking the problem that has destabilized his life with a clear and concrete goal to resolve it - deliver the plans and save the rebels.

          Once Luke is in the Death Star, he is not only risking his own life, but also the discovery of the plans and their destruction which would seal the fate of the rebels. It is at this point Luke would risk more by going back than he would by going forward. He literally has no choice but to go forward. It is the point of no return.

          Luke has a choice while he is on the Death Star.

          Follow Han and find a way to escape and get away (return to his old life).

          or

          Save the princess and allow her to lead them to the rebels so they can complete the mission (go forward).

          Luke makes that choice and that choice is what launches him on a collision course with the climax.

          Had he not made that choice - there would not have been the climax that we had. Instead we would have had a story of Luke escaping the Empire and finding a planet to hide on so he can live out his life running from the Empire.

          I wouldn't say it is the page count that separates the beats, it is the effect they have on raising the dramatic tension, conflict and stakes.

          While the PONR does indeed effect the story trajectory and raise the MDQ, it is the PONR that amplifies and re-frames the conflict which results in the MDQ being put in doubt and tensions being raised as we wait with baited breath to see how the hero will get out of the predicament.

          The Point of Attack defines the story's direction and purpose.

          The Point of no Return continues toward the goal defined by the POA but it creates a new set of unexpected and intensified conflicts that put the ability to reach that goal into doubt.

          That's how I see it.

          Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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