Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Plot Twist – Revisited

plot twist ideas

Plot Twist Ideas

What is a Plot Twist?

A plot twist is a literary device where the author subverts knowledge that a reader already knows or think they have figured out. It’s used to disrupt the flow of the story in a new direction. It’s also used to prevent stories from being predictable.

My two cents

In my writing, I don’t tend to think about plot twists from the start. At times, I don’t think about them at all. It just so happens that as I write, I suddenly think of a twist an include that in the novel. Usually, I think of this as something that just developed from my writing as opposed to purposely knowing I was going to put that plot twist in the story.

I believe that to purposely put in a plot twist, you have to know from the beginning that there is a plot twist. Or at least, had a vague idea of one, otherwise it would seem like the whole idea was shoe-horned in. There’s a fine line between coincidence (and it just happened to turn out that way) and forcing something to happen that shouldn’t. In those instances, the plot twist doesn’t seem natural.

Plot twists aren’t necessary, in my opinion, to make a good story. There might be surprising turn of events but I don’t consider that a plot twist specifically. I feel most plot twist are used in crime/ mystery fiction. Much like romance, there is a certain formula those genre novels follow. IMHO, plot twists are part of that formula.

Whether a novel needs a plot twist or not, is up to the author. Is there such thing as too many plot twists? I would say no but use it sparingly. As a reader, my heart can’t take too many roller coasters so, please be mindful. As an author, I’d use it sparingly when I intentionally use a plot twist.

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Posted in Resources, Writing

Synopsis: Tricks? Tips?

In a dusty drawer, there lives a story untouched for a very long time.

Well, sort of.

As the projects that I want to work accumulate, I go back to my more “essential” novels. What exactly does this mean? For starters, as I wasn’t able to complete writing The Vampire Prince returns to High School last month, I’ll still continue to write it in my free time. However, in my free “free” I’ve started working on the synopsis for a certain novel I’ve called Clan of Ash.

There’s some history to this story. I’ve actually sent this novel out to agents but without any success. I took a break from it and I’ve gone through it before, checking it for various things. Though the title of this post may suggest it, I’m not planning on sending out this novel right now. However, I’m using the process of writing a synopsis to help me out.

How does this work? Well, a synopsis is basically a summary of your novel that showcases the most important details to an agent. So, what I have done (and doing) is to read over my novel and summarize each chapter. As I’ve summarized, I have realized the details that have struck out to me (those being the most important).

Reading through each chapter and summarizing it, puts into perspective some story details that need to change or that are working correctly. This method makes me a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Not only that, once I’ve finished summarizing all the chapters, I can take a look and pick out what details I want to put into the future synopsis for this novel. Of course, the length of that synopsis depends on the agent’s submission guidelines. However, even if it’s only a page or two at most, you have all the details already in front of you. You can pick and choose what you need.

So far, it has worked for me. Writing a novel synopsis can be so stressful and overwhelming. However, I’ve found that this method works for me. It’s less stressful and I don’t feel so pressured or overwhelmed. So, when I’m ready (aka the novel) is ready to be sent out and I need a synopsis, I’ll know where to look. Most of that job is already completed.

Posted in Resources, Writing

Unnecessary Characters – Are they necessary?

 

unnecessary characters
Image Link Here

 

One of the things I try to look out for in my writing is unnecessary characters. Sure, as writers, we must populate the story but when is it too much? How can we identify these unnecessary characters?

I like to use the sexy lamp test. This test doesn’t apply only to the relevance of a female character, it applies to other characters as well. If you can replace a character with someone else – or a lamp in this case – they aren’t necessary. The test can also be applied to your main characters.

If, for some reason, you really want a certain character in the story because they bring something unique then, maybe the character needs more work. Flesh them out. Every character has some sort of motivation that gets them through the day and if after all that, the character still doesn’t work then, cut them. You can always recycle them for later.

 

 

Posted in Resources, Writing

Food Timeline

food history

Now that I’m feeling better, I can put this put. It’s a neat image that I found on Pinterest. The website gives you a timeline on Food, where specific food began, and the start recipes with certain food items. This is a great tool if, like me, gets obsessed over learning if people ate ice-cream during a certain period of time or not.

Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Filling in the Blanks

post filling in the blanksRecently, I found a post on Pinterest that I found very interesting. The post goes to say that writing dialogue first makes the scene easier and longer . The author goes to say that this method worked for him/her when he/she wanted to get some work done. Overall, I think that’s some decent advice.

Personally, it hasn’t been something I’ve tried consciously. I’ve done something similar where I write the basic lines of a scene and dialogue and then go back to fill in the blanks. My method made  me feel like I was too lazy to write everything out completely but seeing this post changes that.

Like many, I’ve always tried to put my best work on the page even if that means rewriting the same sentence a few hundred times. It doesn’t help that I know that that’s not how it works but I find myself doing it anyway. I’ve been trying to work on that, and while there has been progress, there are times when I tend to slip.

I (probably) won’t be using this method consciously right off the bat but I’m not going to write if off. It kind of feels like writing an outline more than anything else but that’s just how I feel. In part I believe because I’ve always associated going back and adding things to a manuscript as rewriting or even editing, I can’t immediately jump to using this method.

Overall, I’m always on the look out for advice and tips that will help me become a better writer. I always strive to grow my skills and abilities. Plus, it’s not like I’m opposed to trying new things. If the chance presents itself, I might just end up writing the dialogue first and the filling in the blanks later.