The Lake House

Inciting Event: Kate (in 2008) receives Alex’s first letter from 2006.

First Plot Point: Alex and Kate figure out that the lake house mailbox is a portal between their times, and they begin a correspondence.

First Pinch Point: Alex sees Kate with her boyfriend in 2006. He chases her train but can’t reach her.

Midpoint: Alex and Kate meet in 2006.

Second Pinch Point: Alex’s father dies, prompting Alex to ask to meet Kate “for real” in 2008.

Third Plot Point: After Alex doesn’t show up for their date, Kate decides they should stop corresponding.

Climax: Kate meets Alex’s brother and learns Alex died two years ago.

Climactic Moment: After receiving Kate’s letter, warning him of his death, Alex waits two more years and meets her at the lake house.

Resolution: Alex and Kate kiss and enter the lake house.

Notes: This is an elegantly structured story, subtle and nuanced, but always spot on in its timing. The Pinch Points are especially worth noting.

The First Pinch Point introduces the “new clues” regarding the conflict by providing Alex’s first glimpse of Kate and her recurring boyfriend Morgan. It also beautifully and subtly reinforces the stakes when he chases after her train without ever being able to quite catch up to her.

The Second Pinch Point is the seemingly unrelated death of Alex’s father, but it emphasizes the stakes of life and death (Alex’s own lifespan in much shorter than anyone realizes) and it turns the plot by prompting Alex to stop wasting time and to find a way to actually meet Kate “for real” in the future.

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