We should be well into the second Act of our story, and as such, we should be working toward what is called the Middle Build. I won’t go too much into that now, but just know, at some point during this time, your MC is going to have to switch gears.
For the most part, the first part of Act II is your MC responding to the Inciting Incident. It’s them getting their footing and trying to navigate the new world or reality they’re in. However, at some point they have to take control of the reigns and work toward the problem, rather than simply responding to it.
This gear-switching is called the Turn.
It’s when passive becomes active, where defense becomes offense. This is the time when we start to build up toward the climax.
If you want to choose a signifier, pick a card that summarizes your plot as a whole. Or, you can look at the story of the Major Arcana, and pick one of the Major Arcana that represents where your MC is on their journey.
This is just a recap of the your MC had in the first Act. The purpose of it in this spread is to remind yourself where you’ve come from so that you know where you’re going, which brings us to the next card.
Now that you know where you’ve come from, this is the direction that you’re heading in. Keep in mind, at the end of the story, your Act I and Act II should contribute to the plot as a whole, thus, these are essentially the stepping stones to get you to Act III.
This card is a summary of what the Main Character has been reacting against after the Inciting Incident. It could be trying to catch up on debts after an outlandish bill that set the problem in motion, it could be trying to learn the ways of the land after walking through a Wardrobe. This is essentially what it is that has had your MC’s head spinning up until the Turn.
This card represents the event that forces your Main Character to take action. This is the why to the turn.
This card represents how the MC goes from being on the defense to going to offence. It’s essentially the Inciting Incident that motivates the MC to act in a more productive manner, rather than just running triage.
Even though it is up to the MC to make this turn, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their feelings are going to line up with their actions. This card expresses what’s going on inside the MC regarding this transition.
The fifth Card represents that which is motivating the MC into the transition. It might be a table-flip moment of ‘Enough is Enough!’ or it might be the capturing of their true love. It could be new information that’s come to light, or a realization due to inner seeking. However, this card relates to the internal motivation. It isn’t just that their love has been captured, it’s that they hurt being without them, or whatever. This is the internal reaction to external events.
Card 5 is what is making the transition difficult for them. This might tie into one of the trials from a few days ago, but wither way, there is either an internal or external conflict going on that is slowing them down and making them press on harder.
The Turn in pushing the MC toward the Climax, and after the Turn has happened, then steps must be taken toward the Climax. Card 9 represents that first step taken.
I did not choose a signifier for this spread, though I do have to say before we get into this—I swear I shuffle my cards. I shuffle them for ages. And I cut the deck. And then I shuffle again, and then I cut the deck. I have just been getting a lot of the same cards over and over again. I just wanted to assure you, I am shuffling!
The goal for act one was the 7 of Wands. I see this as Percyval trying to appease all the customers that he didn’t have dolls for. He’s fighting against them. Of course, in my story there’s more, but in the Trippin’ Waite deck, the 7 of Wand not only has Wands rising up against the figure, but giant bees too. In this Percyval had a lot against him.
I got the World in this. Percyval wants everything—he wants the girl (water), the business (fire), the money that comes from the business (earth) and he wants to be smart enough to get it all figured out (swords).
Knight of Pentacles. This is the debt collector that’s been trying to get Percyval to repay his debt to G.
The Page of Pentacles is what I got. I was torn. This could be an actual person that falls to the wayside, like maybe a small girl that is turned into a doll, or it could be the want to just start over again. I think the former is the more interesting thing.
The Transition event itself is the 4 of Pentacles. In this I see a complete loss of funding. He has no more money, and in a sense, hits rock bottom because of his debt to G, and thus, he’s forced to take action.
I think the 10 of Swords sums it up quite well. He feels as though he hasn’t any more friends, he’s out of ideas, and he is just down.
I got the Queen of Wands. Now, initially I wasn’t too certain about this. I thought it would work better as a person. But as I have been writing this out, I think that the motivation is the development of intuition and passion (water meets fire which is essentially what the Queen of Wands is), as well as emotion and passion. Thus, there are two things motivating him: his feeling for G, as conflicted as they are since he’s completely getting screwed by her, and also his lessons from his Mentor, which is to be a Magician.
The thing that’s holding him down, again, is his heart. I got the 3 of Swords here, and his emotions are getting the better of him. He’s got to learn to use mind over emotion when it comes to deal with G.
I laughed when I got this card, as it was the theme for the second half of the book. But the relation to the climax is the 8 of Wands. Also, the reason why G had to run was because of the Sorcerer Council, or something along those lines, who are after her. There is going to be a climax which involves Percyval’s confrontation of G, her confrontation with the council, and her father is going to be muddled in this as well.
How is Camp NaNoWriMo going for you? How did you do with the Turn in your story?