What Not to Do
“As the light faded, Abigail smiled at the words from the angel. Suddenly, she realized that she needed to forgive that ruffian Juan for his cruelty.”
An epiphany is a high moment in a story, usually when a character realizes something important. In other words, it is a high point, or a turning point or the climax of the inner character arc.
You can’t approach this with the cliche of suddenly, it all became clear. An angel rarely appears to deliver the lesson with golden lights and resonant words.
What To Do
Plan for an epiphany. Set up the changes that a character needs to make in order to take the next step in the story.
Consider Using Symbolism. In my novel, The Wayfinder, I use a bone-white rock to indicate Win’s grief over losing his sister. At the moment he resolves the grief, he realizes he can turn loose of the rock.
Use action to indicate a heart-felt change. In Elaine Marie Alphin’s novel, Perfect Shot, her main character learns that team work and trust is important; it’s at that point that he passes up a shot and gives the ball to a better shooter, who wins the game for them.
Look for other ways to deliver an epiphany–without the angel!