Wright’s Writing Corner: the Most Important Tip Of All–The Payload Moment, part one

The lovely and talented Mrs. Wright reveals the paramount secret of writing. If you can get this one trick right, then you can be a professional writer, even if your mastery of the other aspects of writing is weak.

The last couple of weeks we talked about romantic zing—that moment of heightened awareness of the relationship that gives the reader a jolt, such as a first kiss. In many ways, Payload is plot-related zing—that moment when the storyline intensifies and is raised to a higher level.

Sometimes the Payload moment is caused by the revelation of unexpected turns of the plot. Other times, it happens because the ideas in the story are suddenly revealed to be on a deeper level than it had previously touched.

Most Payload moments are like zing, a tiny jolt like the kind you get when you touch a metal doorknob after walking on a carpet. John and I recently watched a movie where the payload moments were so powerful, they were like the thunderous retort of a full-strength lightning bolt. The movie was called The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I am going to use it below as an example, but PLEASE!!! If you think you might ever want to see this movie, skip this part of the article. The power of the story will be severely lessened if you already know what is coming.

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