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Maybe you’ve seen some posts on here you’ve enjoyed and wish that you had more content like this on your website? Or, perhaps you just want to finally see me writing some fantasy (since I’m probably all talk and no action, right.)? Or, maybe you wanna read snippets from my current works? You’re welcome to hop onto my patreon which I’m just now starting in earnest.

I’ve got the lowest tier set to a dollar. So, for only a dollar a month you can read some experiments in writing and get story prompts. Every little bit helps and I hope that you can pitch in to participate in this journey.

If I still haven’t convinced you, that’s fair. But, if I have? Well, go ahead and hop over to my Patreon. I’m sure it’ll be a fun time if nothing else since you’ll probably find yourself reaching into the outer fringes of Patreon existence by the time you realize the time.

Thanks for your continued support.

Categories
writing

Plot Twists Should Twist Less and Plot More

Sometimes a twist comes at the expense of plot. And it hurts, so much. Because sometimes a story doesn’t need a twist to be good. So, here are some tips and/or things to avoid when making a plot twist.

The Rule Of Three

Foto profissional grátis de abstrato, alfinetes, ao ar livre

I’ve heard writers say that the drafting process exists to make you look like you knew what you were doing all along. As such, the rule of three applies here. If you don’t know, you can read about it in more detail on Wikipedia’s entry: Rule of Three (writing). But, as a quick summary here

“… a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers.”

– Wikipedia

I know there’s a stigma for quoting Wikipedia, but isn’t that a real effective summary? Isn’t it just? Shrieks at every middle school or high school teacher ever. And so, the easiest way to make a healthy twist is to make something appear three times. A person, an object, a word, or even a whole snippet of conversation. The best part of a twist is if the reader can realistically see it coming in retrospect (this is related to qualms people have with magic in fantasy, but this is not a post for that so more on that later).

A book is a promise, and as a writer you must promise your reader that you will unfold for them the world you’ve developed and the plot you’ve devised. Please, use the rule of three. Even if it’s only in passing, this will make the twist so much stronger as an effective piece of the plot.

And you’ll have the reader going “of course, how did I not see it?”.

Use Perspective

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A super effective and appalling plot twist is unfolding exactly how unreliable your narrator is. When it’s revealed that your hero was the villain, it will send your reader reeling if you’ve done it right. Also, some narrators have nothing to lose; as a writer, you don’t have to unfold this to the reader, but it makes the story itself dubious. If you haven’t, take a look at the Brazilian novel, Dom Casmurro.

It’s so simple. The way the character sees the world impacts how the reader experiences the story. And so, the simplest twist is making the main character see the world in an entirely different light.

Twist Earlier, Leave Time For Payoff

Foto profissional grátis de acontecimento, animado, aparelhos

If you twist at the end of act two, you leave time for the payoff. The reader is there for payoff. You’ve promised them the satisfaction of seeing the effects, on the characters, that a challenge may cause. So, when you twist earlier, you leave more time for the reader to see the payoff unfold.

Honestly, if you can provide the reader with your plot twist at the end of the first or second arc of your story, you’ll have much more luck and leave your reader more satisfied than a last-minute whiplash.

Do you know of a story that twists early? How about Knives Out as an example. The twist is revealed rather early on. At least one of them. And we spend the majority of the film relishing the tension that is created by the audience knowing that information while the characters flounder in suspicion.

Do you know of any other stories that twist early? Comment them in the space below.

Not Contrived

Foto profissional grátis de aborrecido, aparelho, aplicativo

A plot twist shouldn’t be contrived. Nothing will enrage your reader more than something thrown in for the surprise factor. Not only will it not be memorable, but it will also lower their overall satisfaction with the book. Because, it feels sloppy and is sloppy.

So, these were just a couple of tips and things to avoid; what other suggestions do you have for people writing twists?

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Reviews

Harrow the Ninth Review

Review: 'Harrow The Ninth,' By Tamsyn Muir : NPR

Lesbian necromancers in space continues to amaze.

This book didn’t pull any punches and had me silently screaming from page one.

After reading Gideon the Ninth it was a very anxious month waiting for the release of the sequel, Harrow the Ninth. And when it arrived, I devoured it. Because it was excellent.

First of all, all that was promised with the world-building in book one continued to expand in book two. Some threads began coming together while others were introduced. Either way, the momentum is still picking up and I expect it will continue into the third book as well.

It will take some re-reading to capture the full scope of all the information. This is because of the book’s format, which I loved as well. The presentation strengthened the arc of the characters, but made it difficult at times to know which pieces of information were important (honestly, most of them were important; Muir is fantastic at weaving in plot important information).

The tension is present throughout as you, as the reader, are unsure but think you know more than the characters. It propels the plot forward, faster and faster. And as the pieces fall into place, you wait in anticipation for the plot to unfold only to be left with a dry mouth as your eyes skim over the final words in the novel.

And… you’re left wanting more. As I said at the start of this article, Muir pulls no punches. This book tugs at your heartstrings in all the best of ways. And, how many months is it again until book three is released?

Categories
Novel writing

Project Update: The Expertise

Introduction

I’m drafting (working title) Titaness of Bone and we’re on draft 2.5 at this point while following the steps outlined in Save the Cat. If you haven’t checked it out, I definitely recommend it. It outlines a pacing that feels natural and which has improved the structure in my novel.

You can find it on Amazon as Save the Cat.

Honestly, my biggest struggle continues to be the last 10,000 words of the “Fun and Games” section of the story. If you have suggestions, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think would help me firm up that last 10,000 words. What are your ideas?

My favorite parts so far have been seeing the Expertise become more of an action taker in this version. In my first writing of her, she felt like a bystander in her own story. In this newer write, she’s still somewhat unwilling to participate in the action. However, more of the events are determined by her choices.

Which has made her a much stronger personality to write.

Forgive any grammar errors, though. I haven’t done my grammar edit. And that’s next on the list.