How To Create The Awe Moment In Your Novel

Last Sunday as I dropped my youngest boy off for preschool class at church, he turned to me and said, “I love you mama.”

At that very moment he had my heart in his little hand. Yes, he is cute. Yes, he is my boy. But he grabbed me by the heartstrings with just the way he said, “Mama.” Even the Sunday School Teacher said, “Awe.”

Why? Yes being cute and mine had something to do with the Awe moment, but it was also the way he said the words.

In our novels we want readers to go, “Awe.” So yes, it needs to be a beautiful girl/handsome prince or some such relationship closeness in other genres, that person must be special to the one who hears it (including the reader) and then the last ingredient is the one that brings the ultimate reaction.

We do quite well with the first two parts of that formula, but we often forget the way we say or present the situation creates the awe.


Relationship+Special To Hero/Heroine/Reader+Presentation=AWE

If you do your story well, the first two should be taken care of already, but the Presentation part of the Awe moment is what we will focus on here.

Think of the Movie, “Jerry McGuire.” When he came back at the end, they took the special words from the beginning of the movie that show the ultimate trust in him at that time and put them at the end to create the Awe. “You Had Me At Hello” was both at the beginning and end of the show.

When we think about the presentation of the AWE moment, it often helps to do or say something meaningful to the character’s relationship. My friend Rachel Hauck calls these book ends. That means you put a similar thing at the beginning of the novel and end of the novel, only the character reacts differently. Sometimes these book ends create an Awe moment.

Watch some of your favorite movies, or read your favorite books. Look for the awe moment and study it’s presentation. Before long you will be a pro.

What examples of ‘Awe Moments’ can you think of in a book or movie?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “How To Create The Awe Moment In Your Novel

  1. Heather says:

    Hmmmm…. very interesting! Fun to think about!

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Heather!

  3. While You Were Sleeping–when he put the ring in the tray.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    OH…I LOVE THAT ONE!!! Perfect example, Pat!

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