5 Ways to Write Plot Twists that Surprise and Hook Readers: A Guest Post by Jade Young

5 Ways to Write Plot Twists that Surprise and Hook Readers: A Guest Post by Jade Young

Hey ya’ll! 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. 1. Brainstorm 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...
How to Discover Your Unique Writing Voice

How to Discover Your Unique Writing Voice

About four years ago, I discovered a powerful tool that helped me unearth my unique voice and hone my honest perspective. I’ll share with you what that powerful tool is, but for now I want to talk about your voice. Notice that the title of this post isn’t How to Write/Sound Like the Masters. No, it’s how to discover YOUR unique writing voice.   As writers we fall victim to comparing our works of fiction to those of the masters:   If only my writing echoed the simple eloquence of Jane Austen! If only I had the cornucopia of geek knowledge like Ernest Cline! If only I could write geeky teen romance like John Green! If only I had the wit of Oscar Wilde!   Whether we are aware of it or not, we often compare our works to someone who is a history-making, best-selling author. We forget the fact that Wilde, Green, Austen, Cline- they all have been exactly where you are. They weren’t born best-selling authors. They weren’t even best-selling authors before their mid-twenties! So how is it fair to compare your works of fiction to theirs?   It isn’t, cupcake.   So don’t focus your energy on sounding like the masters. Focus on discovering what has shaped you, what you want to say, and what makes you proud to be who you are. That is the only way to discover your unique voice as a writer.   This is what I call “thanking your scars and celebrating your strengths”.   Now, what does this mean exactly?   I want you to take a moment and think about three...
A Master List of 300 Fantasy Names: Characters, Towns and Villages

A Master List of 300 Fantasy Names: Characters, Towns and Villages

This week, for all you hardworking writers out there, I’ve created a MASTER list of fantasy names. The hardest thing sometimes for us to create, isn’t great characters, plot ideas, or shocking twists. Noooo siree. It’s original names for our characters and towns! So, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is scour the page of 300 unique, original fantasy names and keep this list a reference while you write that fandom-worthy novel of yours. Enjoy and happy writing! (PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST IS BETTER VIEWED ON A DESKTOP BECAUSE WORDPRESS SUCKS SOMETIMES AND MAKES VIEWING FROM A PHONE MISERABLE) 100 Fantasy Male Character Names: A list of 100 Fantasy Male Character Names. #amwriting #amwritingfantasy Click To Tweet Lydan Syrin Ptorik Joz Varog Gethrod Hezra Feron Ophni Colborn Fintis Gatlin Jinto Hagalbar Krinn Lenox Revvyn Hodus Dimian Paskel Kontas Weston Azamarr  Jather  Tekren  Jareth Adon         Zaden Eune  Graff Tez Jessop Gunnar Pike Domnhar Baske Jerrick Mavrek Riordan Wulfe Straus Tyvrik  Henndar Favroe Whit Jaris Renham Kagran Lassrin  Vadim Arlo Quintis Vale Caelan Yorjan Khron Ishmael Jakrin Fangar Roux Baxar Hawke Gatlen Barak Nazim Kadric Paquin   Kent Moki Rankar Lothe Ryven Clawsen Pakker Embre Cassian Verssek Dagfinn Ebraheim Nesso Eldermar Rivik Rourke Barton Hemm Sarkin Blaiz  Talon Agro Zagaroth Turrek Esdel   Lustros Zenner Baashar  Dagrod  Gentar Feston   100 Fantasy Female Character Names: A list of 100 Fantasy Female Character Names. #amwriting #amwritingfantasy Click To Tweet Syrana Resha Varin Wren Yuni Talis Kessa Magaltie Aeris Desmina Krynna Asralyn  Herra Pret Kory Afia Tessel Rhiannon Zara Jesi Belen Rei Ciscra Temy...
Should You Choose a Career in Writing Fiction? Three Ways to Tell if it’s What You Really Want

Should You Choose a Career in Writing Fiction? Three Ways to Tell if it’s What You Really Want

Does choosing a career or a college course intimidate the heck out of you?   Are your interests pulling you in various directions and you’re not sure which you should choose?   I was in your same position years ago. When it came time for me to make decisions about my future, I actually made a choice that would shock you. You probably think I majored in writing in some prestigious college. Well, stay tuned for that funny story later.   But for now, let’s talk about you. Let’s talk about your wants and let’s put the future in perspective.   Let’s talk three ways to tell if choosing a writer’s life is the one for you by Listening to your voice Listening to your gut Doing your research   Your Voice, Your Choice “You should be a lawyer! There’s good money in that and it’s a prestigious career!” “Be a doctor. You’ll save lives and you’ll make good money while you’re at it.” “A business degree is a must if you want to make it in this world and support your future family.” Jeez. A lot of people in your life sure do have a lot of opinions about your future. You trust your family, friends, coaches, and teachers because they all want what is best for you. They all want to see you lead a happy, healthy life with little to no problems. So, they’re right, right? Choosing a prestigious college and getting a degree in a field which promises a high income is the only way to secure your future. Right?   Well, here’s the thing, sweet pineapple: they mean well,...
Four Things Young/New Writers Should Know Before Writing a Book

Four Things Young/New Writers Should Know Before Writing a Book

There’s nothing as exciting as discovering your calling. If you’re anything like me, then you knew from a young age that writing was your deal. Now you’ve decided to get serious about it. You want to take your hobby and turn it into a career, following in the footsteps of your favorite authors. You want to write fiction so compelling, a mass of crazed fans dress up as your fictional characters for Comic Con. Here’s the thing though: some writers enter the game with a skewed vision and find themselves giving up prematurely. So I want to share four things all young, fresh-faced unicorn writers like you must understand about the writing journey before you even begin: Writing is hard You must write for the love of writing It’s not about the finish line, it’s about the journey itself Joining a community of writers is a must   So let’s break this down a little more… 1. Writing is Hard You probably already figured this one out. Writing is never easy, especially when you put pressure on yourself to write your best all the time. Great writing takes time. It also takes patience, perseverance, and repetition. If you aren’t dedicated to the process, you’ll wander with no ultimate goal in view. There are also universal rules to writing great stories that can intimidate and confuse writers. Those rules can potentially leave you feeling inadequate. So can you still do it? Absolutely. You don’t have to write your best work all the time. In fact, you must allow yourself to fail because hey- you’re not perfect- and you can learn...
Flashbacks: When and How to Use them in your Story

Flashbacks: When and How to Use them in your Story

When is the right time to use a flashback in your story? Is a flashback necessary? Is it distracting from the plot? These questions (and more) have got you sweating. Why? Because you don’t know when and how to place flashbacks in your story. But don’t fret- you’re not alone, sweet lil’ Swedish Fish! So how should flashbacks be used in your work of fiction? Ask yourself three questions before you use flashbacks in your story.   Would the use of flashbacks be appropriate considering my story’s narrative voice? How does the flashback add meaning to the current (or upcoming) plot point? Which characters are affected by this flashback?   So let’s break down the first one…   Would Use of Flashbacks be Appropriate Considering my Story’s Narrative Voice/POV?: If you’re not sure what narrative voice you’re using in your novel, have a look-sy at this article here first: If you know what narrative voice you’re using, then it’s time to deduce mon amie. First Person Narrator is the ideal narrative voice for using flashbacks. F.P.N. is the least potentially confusing option for your reader. But before you introduce a flashback with a F.P.N. make sure the flashback: Helps readers understand the character’s choices/fears/limitations Builds upon the character’s personality or relationships Motivates the character arch (AKA emotional changing point)   Now, don’t get me wrong, cuddly Chinchilla, one flashback does not have to cover ALL these bases. It only has to cover one or two at a time. If the flashback isn’t doing any of these things, then it’s useless. Let me repeat myself and use italics for emphasis here:...

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