18 April 2010

The Anagnoretic Moment

I was recently fortunate to attend a 3 Day Feature Script Development Workshop presented by internationally recognised consultants Simon van der Borgh and Jonathon Rawlinson. They were very giving with advice and individual encouragement.

I learned every movie should have an anagnoretic moment – a moment that moves the audience and creates total empathy with the main character and we connect.

Eg. In the movie The Others it is the moment towards the end of the movie on the stairs, when Nicole Kidman hugs her children and is reunited emotionally with her daughter before they face the unknown together.

It got me thinking. If movies have it, why can’t books? Why can’t we, as romance writers embrace the anagnoretic moment and make sure every manuscript we write has one? Sure, you can have several moments that lead up to it, but the anagnoretic moment should be very clear.

I’m now aiming to have this moment in everything I write. I believe it will strengthen my stories and add a dimension that may have been lacking.

I encourage you to ask yourself the same question with your work once you have finished it – What’s your anagnoretic moment? If you can’t figure out which one it is, it isn’t strong enough. Make it one to remember.



lesley ann smith said...

I am still getting my tongue around
anagnoretic!! But I agree.

We have to give readers characters they can empathise with and create that anagoretic moment.

There's a lot we can learn about story from screen writing.

Thanks for sharing, Donna.

Shona said...

I'm not sure how to pronounce it either. But empathy is the key to a great character.

kym said...

I have a question: Can the ana(whatever) moment be anywhere in the story or does it need to be in the end?
I'll be trying to have such a moment myself in my books.

Donna said...

My understanding is it can be anywhere Kym, I know it normally applies to movies. If you study most movies I think you will find it. I'm trying to apply this theory to my novel writing and hopefully this 'moment' will stand out from the rest and be different to other significant moments such as the black moment.

Nicki Flockton said...

Something to definitely look for or make sure you've nailed in your work. I'll be looking at my current one to see where I could make sure it works!