Debra takes a look at the important parts of a story.
“There are several quintessential moments in a man’s life: losing his virginity, getting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.” Kirby Keger - St. Elmo's Fire
For me, here are the quintessential moments in a story:
First meeting (or reunion if the characters have been apart).
First love scene.
Internal I love you moment. (When either of the characters realize he/she loves the other.) This could coincide with the internal I love you moment.
Second love scene. (If applicable.) Characters are in a different place emotionally with this one.
External I love you moment. (When those three little words are said out loud.) This could coincide with the external I love you moment.
Obviously, this is extremely simplified, but I think it hits the major turning points and emotional zingers in a story.
Would you add anything else? Take something away? Depending on the 'heat' level of your story, the loves scenes might not apply.
Until next time,