prepping for the dark
Adventures in NaNoWriMo

New Belief Crumbles NaNoWriMo day 20

The New Belief Crumbles and the Real Collapse Begins

Today, the main character has failed his test. Now he reverts back to old beliefs. This is the sequel to the second plot point. Here, the new belief crumbles.

The New Belief Crumbles: examplesNew belief crumbles

In The Lego Movie, Emmet learns the prophecy is made up.

In Inside out, Joy chooses to preserve the core memories over saving sadness.

In The Lego Batman Movie, Batman won’t risk his new friends.

Today, your hero’s new belief is either damaged or completely destroyed. The character’s next decision leads to the “all hope is lost” moment.

This can happen through the introduction of new knowledge or the experience of the failure. Tailor this to your character’s arc.

Who is in charge?

Plotting the dark moment-www.themanuscriptshredder.comThis next step can either be forced upon him by the villain or self-chosen.


In the Lego movie, Emmet and the rest of the Master Builders are captured/Vitruvious is killed. Having the villain overpower the hero is a frequently used trope. There’s nothing wrong with this trope as long as it feels fresh. i.e. don’t have the villain sitting in the large office chair the whole time and then spins around right at the moment the hero was going to win.


In Inside out, Joy’s desperation causes her to risk going up the broken tube.

In the Batman movie, Batman tricks his friends into leaving the battle so he can continue on alone.

Usually, characters with agency are more satisfying to readers, but either will work here because the character should feel helpless to avoid his fate. If the character is choosing his dark moment, it must tie into his character arc. Otherwise, he will be acting out of character, or worse, the decision will seem random. Remember, stories are about characters!

Choose you calamity with care. Tailor it to your hero’s struggle

Now that the quest has failed, the character is ready for the all hope is lost moment. Tomorrow, she will face the consequences of that failure.

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M.L. Keller is a freelance writer and editor. Her blog "The Manuscript Shredder" is focused on helping emerging writers hone their craft.

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