How To Write Plot Twists – by Lux

ZinnWrites

So I stumbled onto this blog/article that had a lot of good information about plot twists.
I was looking advice up for my novel as far as common or predictable plot twists and this piece here gave a lot of good wisdom.

So for any writers, this is worth a read.

Finding Originality When Even Plot Twists Are Cliched

by Lux

Hi, 

I’ve been trying to finalize the outline of my novel, however I’m skeptical and critical of every plot outline I’ve come up with. I’m to the point where even some of the plot twists I come up with seem cliched. (I.e. a plot with a fresh twist in itself is cliched!)

How should one find a balance between cliched plots and fresh twists in one’s work? 

I was also wondering if every author goes through this stage, where the fear of being cliched inhibits them from writing without…

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Cheat Sheet: 7-Point Story Structure

Chandler Baker

When plotting, I’m constantly reminded by my writing friends of the Three Act structure. You can think of that in terms of a three act play with setup, rising action and then climax with resolution. To be honest, I still get a bit stumped with this structure, though.  I mean, I get it and all, but when actually putting the nuts and bolts into a story, there just aren’t enough posts for me to hang my narrative. Rather, it ends up being a way for me to go back and check my work. For those of you who are like-minded, I wanted to point out the 7-Point Story Structure.

1. Hook

2. Plot Turn 1

3. Pinch

4. Mid-point

5. Plot Turn 2

6. Pinch

7. Resolution

During the HOOK portion, you want to start your main character out in a position opposite from where the character will end up…

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Rebuilding the world

A Letter at a Time

I have been thinking about outlines a lot in the last month. I have also been thinking about character development and world building.

In all my craziness I decided to write a story that takes place in the future. (Why did I do this?!?) And let me tell you, it is not easy. It makes me even more in awe of people like Tolkien and George R. R. Martin and what is the name of the person who wrote Dune- Frank Herbert.

I want my world to be rich with detail, familiar yet unfamiliar. And that is bloody hard. When I was writing the first draft I kept telling myself: just put the story on paper you’ll sort the details out later. But now is later. And my world is kind of flat, not as gritty as I would like and in all honesty, really hard to understand.

I want…

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Wheels and Gears

Dr. Doyle's Blog

I’m not going to talk here about “plot-driven” versus “character-driven” stories, because that’s a distinction made by critics, which is to say, from the outside looking in, whereas most writers find plot and character to be so thoroughly intermingled that talking about one as though it excluded the other feels pointless.

It is fair to say, though, that some stories have more in them by way of external incidents than others do, and that one of the tricky parts of writing a story like that is fitting all of the incidents together into a smoothly-working vehicle that carries the reader to whatever place it is that the writer wants them to go.  (Where that place is doesn’t really matter; it could be a quiet moment of personal epiphany, or it could be the final battle in the desperate struggle against an invasion of machine intelligences from an alternate dimension.  What’s…

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Hiding your Plot Devices

pilesofpages

One of the Pixar Rules of Storytelling states that “Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating”, and it’s advice that I wholeheartedly agree with. But if you can’t use a coincidence to solve your dilemma, that means you are probably going to be using a plot device, most of the time. A plot device could be anything – a character, an event, an object etc. – that helps you to

Garlic: The silent killer. Image by lowjumpingfrog Garlic: The silent killer.
Image by lowjumpingfrog

move the story forwards. For example, your protagonist is stuck in a cave full of hungry vampires, but they just happen to have a bulb of garlic in their pocket, which had been hurriedly shoved in there as they rushed from the house in the middle of making chilli tacos. The garlic is the plot device in this case. Nearly all stories have…

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Novel Writing – My Process: Plotting

Kevin A. Ranson

BookhouseIn a discussion of Stephen King’s book On Writing, he claims he doesn’t see the value in plotting. This is what I had to say on the subject on the eve of the 2014 NaNoWriMo:

Whenever I write a short story, I often envision it as a single scene or chapter with a single point of view. When I scaled that up to writing a novel, I treat each scene/chapter as a separate short story, giving it a beginning, a middle, and an end. To find those scenes, I usually start at the end, then work my way backwards to figure out what scenes I need to get to that conclusion; my first scene is often the hardest to decide upon: what is the perfect spot to jump into the story? I also imagine specific scenes – money shots – to act as way points to work toward while filling…

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The Worst & Best Thing

Postcards from Sabbatical-land

MF2-A006I am at work on my book proposal, specifically the part with short summaries for each chapter. I kind of pride myself on being able to communicate ideas in as few words or examples as possible.  That’s one thing for teaching a class, or writing a 20-minute conference paper, or a 1500-word book review, or a tweet.  It’s another thing to condense the massive Great Work For The Ages that I have been tending now for all these years.  That thing started well over 250,000 words, has been cut down to a not-too-slim 150,000, and now it has to get stuffed into a series of 30 short paragraphs?  That’s nuts.  It’s awful.  I hate it.

BUT it’s also a great exercise, painful as it is.  It’s the literary equivalent of those identical nesting Russian dolls: same thing, over and over, smaller and smaller. I’m finding that as I try to winnow…

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The Characters Are Starting To Tell Me The Story

Journal Of A Story

Image Courtesy of akarakingdoms/freedigitalphotos.net Image Courtesy of akarakingdoms/freedigitalphotos.net

Today I worked on another character, I originally thought he would be introduced towards the middle of the story. But now I see he needs to come in sooner. As I wrote about him, I realized what his epiphany would be at the end of the story, and he even helped me fill in the details for the ending.

As I refresh my memory from the fiction writing courses I’ve taken, and study about writing, I am told again and again that what we plan in the story can change as we start writing. So…I’m planning with the knowledge  that things can and will  probably change.

Even so, the excitement is growing as I get to know each character a little more.

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