While doing the Big Edits and the galley edits of my trilogy, I noticed that with each book, I set the main plot’s Point of No Return in the exact middle of the story. Not that it’s necessarily where the one Act ends and another starts; it’s merely a concrete point in the story where enough has happened and the only way out is forward. It’s the point where one or many of the characters face the No Turning Back Now part of their arc.
I don’t even try to do it consciously. I’m aware that it’s one spike of many in the story arc, just like they all are, but I don’t always plan it to be the most important one. Most of the time, it just ends up that way.
The climax of the story is near the end where it should be, of course…but this isn’t the climax I’m talking about. It’s the point where the characters may pause and finally get their bearings and finally truly see just how deeply they’ve embedded themselves. [Out of amusement, I’ve sometimes called it the “oh shit we really are screwed aren’t we” moment.]
And this moment can happen at any time, really. And it can happen numerous times within the span of a book or a series. But there’s usually one true Point of No Return moment. And somehow I’ve figured out where to put it exactly in the middle of my stories!