This week I’m thrilled to introduce to you a wonderful writer and friend of mine, Jade Young. Her insight on writing technique is valuable to anyone who wants to write a great book (and that’s everyone, amiright??) So why wait a moment longer? Read her awesome article below and check out her website for more great writing technique info!:
One of my favorite books is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The plot twists were amazing and set up in such a way that I was hooked and read the entire book in one night. However, many writers, especially new ones, fear away from adding plot twists to their novel. A plot twist that is too predictable, or cliché, can be detrimental to your story. However, a plot twist that is unexpected, but still plausible, can do wonders for your story and have readers talking about it for months, and years, to come.
How can we, as writers, write compelling plot twists that surprise and hook readers? Below I’ve outlined five tips that have helped me, and hopefully, can help you too.
One of the best things you can do for your story is brainstorming. As you write your story, ask yourself:
- What direction does it seem like the story is heading in?
- What potential plot twists come to mind?
- What does it seem like your protagonist needs to do, or overcome, to succeed?
Write down as many answers as you can to these questions, and then do everything in your power to make sure your answers don’t end up in your final manuscript.
The key to a successful plot twist is to create a twist that no one saw coming, and chances are if you could foresee it, then your readers can too.
Maybe you did the above step, but you’re finding it hard to come up with an unexpected twist. It could be that you’re overthinking it. Listen to your characters and let them guide the story instead. Oftentimes, when writers do this, they veer completely off the outline into an entirely different, yet believable, direction.
If you end up writing something that you never saw coming, chances are your readers won’t see it coming either. However, to do this step you need to know your characters well and really get inside their heads.
How do you want your readers to feel when they close your book? If you want them to be shocked, are you effectively hiding the true ending of the story, while letting them believe they know all the facts?
Have you successfully made the reader believe there is only one possible ending? If you can do this well, your readers will exclaim, “No way! How cool!” and praise your book to their friends, and in their reviews, for years to come.
4. Be Careful
A plot twist ramps up the tension, or action, in a novel. It entices your readers to keep reading. Therefore, you can’t get lazy and slow your novel’s pace too much after revealing the twist.
Whether your plot twist happens at the beginning, middle, or end, make sure your novel’s pace stays consistent and engaging throughout. Don’t let your readers get bored or disappointed.
If you’re struggling in this area click here.
Unsure as to whether your plot twist is a good one or not? Enlist the help of a beta reader or critique partner. You’ll know your plot twist was successful if you receive an email, text, or phone call from them praising your novel and the parts they didn’t see coming.
However, if they say the plot twist didn’t work, or wasn’t believable, take what they say to heart. The feedback you receive from these readers will be helpful in determining what other readers will ultimately think of your novel.
These are only a few tips and suggestions. What ideas do you have for writing amazing plot twists? Also, share your favorite books that have had mind-blowing plot twists in the comments section below!
Weren’t these five tips just awesome? I personally appreciated the part about sharing your plot twist with a friend to see if they would be genuinely surprised! Get more Jade in your life and follow her writing advice blog below!:
Blogger, writing coach
Jade Young is a blogger, and writing coach, currently working on her debut novel. You can find helpful tips, writing advice, and more information about her services on her website at www.theeducatedwriter.com You can also read along as she writes her debut novel at http://www.wattpad.com/authorjadeyoung