Thursday, January 31, 2013

Story Structure: Plot Turns

Last week, I discussed Hooks and promised to come back this week with the next thing in story structure, and here I am. This week, Plot Turns, are our focus.

Plot turns are people, places, things, that send the story off in a new and oftentimes, unexpected direction. If you do it well, it is like adding leavening to dough. The story will RISE in great ways.

I know that sounds so simple to you, but believe me, if writing a plot turn were as simple as what I just said, everyone would be good at it and there would be no need for me to type this out.

A plot turn, or twist as they are sometimes known, is where the leather hits the pavement, or where you actually follow through with some of the promises you have given to your reader.

If you told them you were writing a mystery, then the first plot turn will be the discovery of the dead body. If you promised a romance, then the man who your heroine thought was gone forever reappears and makes life difficult. If you are writing fantasy, then this is where magic becomes real for the hero.

The first plot turn (and there are usually about two per book) is where things begin to look different to the reader and to the characters. It is where they realize that they are not in Oz anymore. Where they have to volunteer at the reaping to save their sister, where they find out that they are a wizard, where Ashley is reported to be engaged to Melanie, and where you, dear Murderers, will have your reader on the edge of their seat in anticipation of what you are going to do next.

Hope this helps you, and why don't you check back next week to see what I think will add interest to your story structure? I call it the Crisis of Plot.

1 comment:

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Well said, Kim! Thanks for helping teach all writers in our audience!