Showing posts from October, 2012

The Art of Creating Plot Twists

Having a great story idea is one thing, but no story is complete without a plot twist or two to give it that extra gravitas and intrigue. But what exactly is a plot twist?   And what do they achieve? A plot twist is basically an unexpected direction that the narrative takes.   They are designed to keep the reader guessing, to maintain a level of interest and atmosphere, and to move the story in a new direction – in other words it helps maintain the momentum of the story and helps to move it forward.     Plot twists are also useful for wrong footing the reader by making them think something might happen in a certain way, when in fact the complete opposite takes place and thus it surprises them.   The idea is to make the reader comfortable with the story, and then change direction.   This ploy keeps them turning the page.    Some writers foreshadow these plot twists, through subtle hints and symbolism, so the reader may become aware that something might happen.   They

Major Stumbling Blocks to Writing

Every writer meets a stumbling block where writing is concerned, no matter how experienced.   Some are easy to overcome, while others are more persistent and tricky to deal with.   So what is a stumbling block, what does it mean? Firstly, it’s not to be confused with outright writer’s block – the inability to write.   Stumbling blocks happen during writing, where the writer realises that things are not going to plan, or they don’t ‘feel’ the story and therefore believe they’re disconnected from it.   The story seems to come to a halt. There are multiple reasons for this.   It might mean the plot has fallen through, the characters are not working, the story isn’t moving in any direction or doesn’t feel right, or the writer simply cannot make it work, no matter how hard he or she tries.   Sometimes stories simply do not work.   Or perhaps the writer is attempting something that is out of their comfort zone, something they’re not used to writing and they haven’t settled

The Principles of Storytelling

Why do we write?   We write because we have a tale to tell, a story to entertain people or we have something to say.   And because writing is a form of expression, a manifestation of creativity, mankind has used this medium to communicate for thousands of years.   But the fundamental reason storytelling has been that way is because of our need to understand the world around us. Writing isn’t just about writing a blockbusting story.   It’s about the need to make sense of things; it’s about understanding the human condition .   After all, why do people do the things they do?   What makes ordinary people become extraordinary?   What drives them to act the way they do?   What is it that makes us different to the next person?   What makes them who they are? We have always tried to make sense of things by weaving stories around what knowledge we have of the world.   This was common in antiquity, it’s how ancient myths developed.   What couldn’t be explained with knowledge could

The Character's Journey

The character’s personal story is a fundamental part of writing, and yet is often overlooked.   Their journey is as important as plot, dialogue or characterisation.   And it’s not the beginning or the end of the story that counts in this case, but rather what happens during the story. Every main character goes on a journey, whether it is an emotional, spiritual, physical, moral or a mental one.   He or she will be a different character by the end of the story; they will have changed somehow because of what they have experienced or what they have done during that time.   You character must always evolve . In real life, certain experiences change us – we may change how we think or act, our personalities might change, it may be that some incidents never leave us and have a profound impact on our lives – whether those are good, bad or indifferent.   Life constantly changes and shapes us. The same is true of your characters.   Their lives inevitably change; they are directl