Today I feel like talking about writing. Sadly I’m taking a break, since editing takes all of my time, but I managed to write the first 5000 words of my third book, but that’s hardly writing. Anyway, I’ve read books, I wrote critiques and some reviews, and I must admit that I learned many things from those tasks. One of the most important is … Twists and Turns.
What is the most important part of a story? I have to say the plot.
What’s makes the plot interesting? I have to say the developments.
And what’s makes the readers care about the developments?
The twists and turns.
It’s true. If what we read is flat, we just put it aside and try another one. How many times have you stopped reading a book? How many times have you struggled to finish one? Well, this is something we don’t want to happen with our book, so we must find a way to keep our story interesting. How we do that? Well, I’ve already said it. :)
For me it’s really important for the story to surprise me. I need to see the character struggle and fight and the story get messier, darker. That’s what keeps me in the story and that’s what keeps me writing too. I do that in my stories.
When I start writing I have no idea where my story’s going. In Divided I knew the end from the moment I wrote the Prologue, but the main core of the book was unknown. I just knew I needed to make the story interesting, with action. And the story started forming itself and I was even surprised by the developments. I was worried how my character would survive. I was trying to find a logical explanation for what was happening to her, but then she gave me the answers. That happened because I followed the first thought that came in mind, not caring how I’ll fix it later. I followed a twist. What I mean?
Let’s assume you have your MC running, trying to save himself from the monsters that chasing him. He runs through the forest. It’s night, his body aches, his breath failing him and he reaches a dead end. He stands at the edge of a mountain, hearing the monsters approaching. And now? What happens now? How will he survive? You have built tension, you have the reader waiting, but you hit a writer’s block.
What would I do? I would make him jump and worry about the rest later.
You can’t imagine how many times I had my MC do something extreme, not even knowing how I’ll fix it. But then magic happens and the moment I sit down to continue my story, everything’s clear in my head and I know what I should do. I just know how to turn the story.
How is this happening?
While I have put my story aside, and I do a million other things, my subconscious’s doing the work for me. I give my mind the time it needs to process the new events and practically I do nothing! I don’t know, but this is how it works for me. That’s what I did in Divided.
I guess it’s something similar like when Stephen Kings says that we should write the first draft of a novel fast, and then just leave it for two weeks. For me it works a little different, but in the same concept. I’ve said it again. When I sit to write and I just can’t I don’t push myself. I know it’s just the wrong moment. My mind needs more time.
So, for me twists and turns are the core of a book. It’s what stands out to us in the end. What we discuss with our friends, what will stick to our mind for a long time. Even forever. I still remember the scene from The Mockingjay, like I read it yesterday. You know what scene… the one with the duck tail.
Well, that’s how I write my stories, how I like to built tension. What works for you? Do you have any secrets? Feel free to share your way. I really want to know.