Scene Prompt #49: Epiphany Time

For this prompt, pick a scene where the point-of-view character needs to realize something. Or, if you’re revising, pick a scene where the character has an epiphany but the execution is pretty clumsy right now. (Need help finding such a scene? I’m thinking of the scene after the Dark Night of the Soul, where the answer Character needs has generally been available all along and something triggers Character to realize it.)

There are lots of ways to trigger Character’s epiphany, but for this prompt, we’re going to trigger it by something in the setting. So, pick your scene, note the epiphany Character needs to make, and note the scene’s setting.

Now make a list of all the stuff in the setting. Time of day, season, props, decor, costumes, etc.

From your list of stuff, pick something that could prompt a memory from the character’s past. Yesterday, ten years ago, it doesn’t matter how far in the past the memory is so long as Reader is familiar with the memory, having seen or heard about it before, and Character’s remembrance of this moment can lead to the epiphany. (The triggering element could be something you slip into both scenes on revision. Bonus if it’s thematic.)

So, you’ve got the epiphany, the memory that prompts it, and the memory-triggering element that can appear in both scenes.

Generally the epiphany choreography goes something like this: Character comes across some prop in the frontstory setting that reminds him of something similar from the past, a scene we’ve seen, when he, unknowingly at the time, had access to the answer he needs. He didn’t see the answer then, but he’s different now, knows more now, so, as he thinks about the memory, he sees the answer now.

Got it?

Write the scene.

Book that inspired this prompt


That’s it for me!

What about you? How do you realistically take your character to an epiphany? Tell us in the comments!

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