Plotting 4 Pantsers—Part II

Last week, we talked about making promises to readers. Today, I’m going to talk about plot twists. Four elements must be present in any plot twist you write: inevitable, surprising, escalation, & expectation. #Plotting4Pantsers @donnalhsmith @a3writers TWEETABLE

Plot Twists

James says there are four elements to all plot twists, and in our writing, we should include them all: 1) unexpected, 2) inevitable, 3) an escalation of what preceded it, and 4) a revelation that adds meaning to what has already occurred. Pg. 132

Inevitable

Only one possible conclusion to the plot twist. It’s believable to readers, and when they get to it, they see that everything in the story up until then has been pointing toward that ending, rather than the one they were predicting and anticipating. Great twists are more than just believable; they are, in retrospect, the only possible ending to that scene, act, or story.

Surprising

The readers cannot see it coming—but it ends up not only being reasonable but more logical than any other possible ending. It must be free of gimmicks, and it must both shock and delight the reader. If you’re like me, you want to figure out where the story is going before you read it.

A twist doesn’t just move the story forward; it unravels it and then rethreads it at the same time, giving more meaning to it. Readers find out that the story is deeper, richer, and more multilayered than they ever imagined.

Escalation

To set up a stunning plot twist, you must construct it in such a way to have the twist be the ultimate ending to the stair stepping. Like a brick wall, the twist needs to be built, brick-by-brick. Foreshadow it by alluding to your ending. Use red herring techniques and have the twist ending be one of those possible solutions. Use your elements of surprise. Make sure the reader doesn’t guess it ahead of time.

Expectations

Turn expectations on their head. At first you’ll play to those expectations, so readers will think they know where things are going. Then, suddenly, you’ll turn those expectations against them to create the twist.”

The main plot twist of my book, Meghan’s Choice, had to do with blackmail. Meghan is blackmailed by the doctor before he’ll treat the cowboy for a gunshot wound. It won’t spoil the story for you to know that. Ah, but how does she get out of it? That, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

What are some of your favorite plot twists you’ve either seen in a movie or read in a book? Leave a comment and let me know. #Plotting4Pantsers @donnalhsmith @a3writers TWEETABLE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mickey Mindset

Celebrating the Art of Disney Storytelling

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

For a purpose

The blog site of Rick Wade

devotions4misfits

Where it is a good thing to be an outcast.

Cracked-Pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; let your light shine through your cracked pot. Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in and comes out.

loon watchman

stark raving sane.

Diann Mills

Expect An Adventure

Kelly F Barr

"A story without love is empty." -- Kelly F. Barr

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Vonj Production

Bringing you love through spirit!

A christian dad blog

Just a dad following God's path

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

Funny Dog Moments

Funny Tales of Cinnamon the Cute Guard Dog

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

%d bloggers like this: