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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Climax – Emotion, I’m Sneaking up on the Climax creativity and Plots, Entertainment and Excitement

Zen of Scenes

11 December 2014, this blog is about writing in scenes.  I’m focusing on the tools to build scenes.  I’ll leave up the parts of a novel because I think this is an important picture for any novelist.  I’m writing about the climax.

1. The beginning
2. The rising action
3. The Climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement

Announcement:  By the time you read this, my new series novels titled Ancient Light will be published.  Ancient Light includes Aegypt, Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  If you are interested in historical/suspense literature, please give my novels a try.  You can read about them at http://www.ancientlight.com.  I’ll keep you updated.

Today’s Blog: The skill of using language in a large degree comes from the ability to put together figures of speech that act as symbols in writing.

Here are my rules of writing:

1. Entertain your readers.
2. Don’t confuse your readers.
3. Ground…

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Words from the otherworld: Dirt healing.

catherinewinther

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I will be broadening my writing on this blog and adding some more personal elements. Reasons for this will be explained in another post.

I was speaking to a dear friend a while ago who I hadn’t spoken to in some time. As per usual we fell straight back into heart-talk and he expressed concerns about talking to me and feeling like a downer because he wasn’t in a happy place at present. My response was that this is the very time to reach out for support – to trust your friends will be there for you no matter your state.

However, more came through that I felt compelled to share, things that came from my workings as a writer, readings and life experience. We know as storytellers that all great stories/journeys have their black moments – that moment where everything feels hopeless and you think ‘well heck, how the…

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Show Me The Story: Creating Your Doctoral Narrative

100 days to the doctorate & beyond

2013-09-12 14.18.06

Once you have your doctorate, don’t imagine the progress reports stop. Don’t think you can say goodbye to explaining what your research means, or why it is important and whether anyone should care. In fact, once you graduate, the demands for you to sell your doctoral story have never been greater. Now you have your doctorate, you are expected to deliver your story about your research in razor sharp, fully focused, bite sized pitches. To everyone.

Some great advice I received shortly after graduating was to start practicing my story. Not the story of what I wrote about – but the story of me; my doctoral research, my journey – both what I did and what I planned to do. I had to curate myself.

In short, you have to be able to sell yourself. “Let everyone know who you are, that’s no easy thing,” I was warned…

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Day 3 – How I Learnt to get to the Heart of a Story…

Born Again Writer

…through listening to critiquing partnersIMG_1397 I’ve leaned so much from having good critiquing partners, and I feel extremely lucky. However, not all critiques are equal.

Let me explain:

What makes for a Bad Critique

The worst kind comes from critiquing partners who essentially hope you’ll write the story they want to write themselves. Maybe they’re poets, who want more description, romantics who want you to include a love interest, fans of sci-fi or fantasy, who would like you to include the odd battle scene, you get the picture. Then there are the under-critical who ‘love everything’ or the over-critical who will tear new writer’s work apart,while seeing no benefit in offering encouragement.

What makes for a Good Critique

The best kind of critique comes from a partner who understands that you may be writing in a different genre, and wants to help you write the best story that you can. They tend to offer a…

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How to Expand Your Novel

brittanyekrueger

You’ve been working on your novel or your short story, but you’re stumped. There’s something off about your story, something that makes it hard to believe, not to mention your word count might be lower than you anticipated.

How do you go about remedying this? How can you expand your work?

One way is through narration.

  • Force your characters to do more, go bigger. You want to push them outside their comfort zone.
  • You want to make sure there are enough obstacles in your characters way to make what they’re doing have a big emotional and physical impact.
  • Find ways to reveal your characters’ internal states of mind – their thoughts, beliefs, ideals, fears– through their actions, or lack thereof.

Another way to expand is through description.

  • Find ways to show tension and movement through description.
  • Show what’s happening through sensory details. Make readers experience the same sensations your characters…

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Getting from a concept to a story

The amazing thing about being a writer is that you learn to spot the ideas and ‘what if’s that other people would normally pass by. They’re everywhere, and they’re incredible. And they can also be incredibly frustrating. You can get incredibly intricate and detailed ideas in your head, but for the life of you, you can’t do anything about it. Creating a world is wonderful, but it’s just words on paper unless you have a story to take place within it.

So you’ve got an idea…

This afternoon I had a conversation this afternoon on the subject, so I’ll use that as an example: one character discovers that his friend doesn’t actually exist.

It’s a fantastic idea, and there’s a lot of directions you can go on the subject. So how do you shape that idea into a story?

Find the problem

At its core, every story is driven by…

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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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Description, or where the bloody hell am I?

Kate Turville

As a reader I have come across a problem that pulls me out of the story so irrevocably that I’ve put down the book and nudged it away with my toe.  I’m sure you’ve encountered the same problem, but you may not have as much of a melodramatic reaction to it.  I’m talking about lack of description.  The lack of description that is so bad that you’re not quite sure whether you’re in Middle Earth or New York City.

gandalf

I recently read a book that was supposedly set in an ancient Chinese culture.  It’s funny though, the only indicators that it was set in China were the character’s names.  Otherwise it could have been set in any old medieval world.  There was no effort to show how this place that I was reading about was any different from the classic English fantasy world.  Given that the Chinese culture and technology was…

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Two rules for writing that engages readers

Write to Wrestle

In writing, there are some rules to follow if you want to engage people with the story, book, article, etc.

One rule is the ‘save the cat’ principle of script writing. The idea is that you need to show that the author or main character or narrator is likeable, a good person. If you like the author, you’re more likely to read anything they write even if it’s not in your area of interest.

A second rule is for the author/character/narrator to be trustworthy. If the reader doesn’t trust your words, they’re unlikely to keep reading. Ways to be seen as trustworthy are to be vulnerable, reveal weaknesses, and simply be honest. There is no false humility here; it’s just straight honesty.

I wonder if these two rules can apply to the blog world?

Let’s see. I’ll experiment.

Honesty: I’m the world’s most awkward person. I can make any situation…

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