Writing Prompt #15 Turning Points

Turning points. We all have them. You can’t force someone to change – they have to want to. But how does one get to that point? It’s different for everyone. I have spent quite a bit of time interviewing recovering addicts and they call that moment ‘rock bottom’ and for some it was jail, failed suicide attempt, the loss of a friend to an OD, others the loss of jobs, home or family.

Today’s prompt: Can you think of a turning point in your own life? Let’s dig deeper than the birth of your first child – though that’s a very valid turning point, or marriage. Think smaller – more everyday. Was there an incident, a second in time, after which you felt things would never be the same? When you knew that your live would be changed forever? Write about it – keep it short, it’s more of a scene than a novel prompt. Vivid description and inner dialogue are key components to writing these well. Use your own life, or the life of one of the characters in your latest WIP.

Post your scene here in the comments, or leave a link to your blog/website/google doc instead. We will read every post.

Woman with head in her hands


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8 comments on “Writing Prompt #15 Turning Points

  1. Six little words. They were nothing but six little words. They could have been missed. All it would have taken was a fleeting thought. A baby crying. A nudge from my son sitting next to me to look at the latest impossible shape he’d drawn. (He can focus while doodling. Me? Not so much.)

    When I woke up that morning, did I feel excitement? No. Anticipation? Not really. Was I eager to go to church? To be honest, I didn’t feel any of the above. But there I was: second row from the front. Husband by the organ. Two of our three sitting with me in the pew.

    It’s not that our pastor doesn’t preach well. He does. But sometimes six little words can get lost in the message. But not these six little words. And not for me. In fact, I shared them on Facebook, and others picked them up. Seems they stood out to others too.

    When we don’t know all the details of a situation…And when do we really? When we are tempted to judge…And if you’re like me, that happens regularly. When we’ve gathered information – or just come across it – that only reveals one side of a story…And that is often a natural occurrence.

    When these things happened in the past, I must admit I didn’t often heed the six little words. However, now that they’ve been verbalized, I hope never to forget and always to act on them. I want to…

    Fill in the gaps with grace.

  2. To Stephanie,
    I love those six little words! They make the phrase “who are we to judge?” all the more powerful.

  3. Turning point in my life (although I didn’t know it at the time) went like this:

    My best friend was my “twin brother”. We were “twins” because we had almost the same name (Becky and Becket) and our sophomore year we wore almost the exact same outfit for school photos (dark blue shirt with a green and cream stripe across the chest. I had significantly more chest than he did at that point).

    Becket got a girlfriend, who hated me.

    We graduated high school, and he went to an honors house for college. It was the college everyone in our high school was supposed to attend. A great school – huge, close to home, all the same friends. I didn’t want that. I chose a small school, an hour and a half away. There were only two other people that I knew attending, and they dropped out freshmen year. Perfect.

    Becket’s honor house held a party a few days before classes started. Which was three days before I left for college. I went because his girlfriend wouldn’t be there and it would be the last day I was going to see him for a long time.

    I know what you are thinking – I got together with Becket.

    Um…No. I didn’t. He married that girl, and I haven’t seen him in almost ten years, because she still hates me.

    When I rang the doorbell a young man in a Hawaiian shirt (this was back when those shirts were cool) answered the door. He had a drink in one hand, and threw his other around my shoulders. I was terrified. I spent the entire night trying – unsuccessfully – to stay away from him.

    I think I called my mom (my MOTHER) to come pick me up from my first college party. And I complained about him to her the entire five minute drive home.

    I went back the next day, and guess who Becket was on the phone with? That’s right. His girlfriend. Who hated me.

    I was shoved unceremoniously into the hallway. A girl I recognized from the party the night before asked me to wait in her friend’s room while she waited for him to return from the bookstore. Her friend wasn’t the man I was destined to marry either. His roommate was.

    They entered and I froze. I can literally tell you that yes – blood can freeze in your veins. I know it’s cliché and everyone uses it in their first WIP, but it does happen. It happened to me. I froze. Solid. I recognized this man from the night before and I had no idea what to do with him blocking the doorway and me sitting on what was his computer chair.

    He said “Hi” because he didn’t remember. And his roommate elbowed him and told him I was the girl from the night before. The girl he had made a fool of himself in front of the night before. He got down on his knees (I am not exaggerating – he did this) and apologized. Profusely. And so eloquently that I couldn’t stay mad.

    A month later we started dating, moved to the Carolinas after graduation, and got married. I kissed him tonight, and his lips are just as wonderful as the first kiss we ever had (which was not either of these nights).

    In fanfic words, he is my OPT (One True Pair). That one moment changed my entire life.

    • Jennifer…I hope your little ones have fully recovered. Lisa and I grabbed a coffee at Timmies tonight, and she mentioned that you’d commented on “the six little words.” I will pass it along to my pastor. I’m sure he has no idea how far this phrase has traveled.
      Be blessed…

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