There’s a lot of wiggle room in this story structure stuff. The targets for your story milestones are just that — targets — but if you miss by a reasonable amount in either direction (too soon, or a bit late), your story may not tank because of it.
But one of those milestones, while still offering wiggle room, remains the lynchpin of your story. The weight-bearing cross beam of your architecture. Mess this up — either via misplacement, misunderstanding or simple abuse — and your story probably won’t work. Because it’ll look like something other than a novel, as defined by agents and editors and even readers. Not all of whom, by the way, may even recognize this terminology of even the existence of this principle.
They’ll just know it when they see it. And wince when they don’t.
It’s your First Plot Point.
And your need to master what it is before you can optimize how you’ve engineering it into your story.
Rather than open this can of worms here, better to send you to a post that isn’t restained by space and time, like this so-called “tip” is. Todays tip is to read this post and then re-read until you can recite it in your sleep.
Go here: http://storyfix.com/story-structure-series-4-–-the-most-important-moment-in-your-story-the-first-plot-point. Because your story depends on your First Plot Point to work. NaNoWriMo included.
Don’t shortcut this one. It’s the key to everything you’re doing.
Here’s another set of questions, from a different angle, that you should address as you plan and write your story: