Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In Search of a Plot Twist

 It was something I tried in "Let's Do Lunch" that went over well with my beta readers. (Bless them!) Just a little twist to get the tension from "Oh Wow," to "Holy Crap!"

It worked. They liked it - I'm hooked. I want to get that "holy crap" reaction a second time with the new WiP - so I'm looking for a good plot twist, or two.

Maybe two - I think - maybe - I've found them.

I'm looking at the central figure in the novel. He's dead - but the story still revolves around him. As I ask myself 'who was Roger Truesdale' I'm getting some answers. A perfectionist, a man with secrets, (who went to great lengths to keep those secrets) a man driven by his environment, blackmailed by his needs and desires, but - it's a big question mark - was he a traitor?

At this point, I don't know. Maybe - which is different from the 'hell yes!' I started with. Now it's Leo who thinks 'hell yes' and the writer who is working on fleshing out a character that she will never, ever use, who is no longer sure.

I love this part of writing - when the plot unfolds and the characters come to life. Sometimes they are meek, and do what they are told, other times they present this writer with challenges. I'm getting my ass kicked by a dead guy who isn't rolling over to play dead - he's fighting to have dignity and purpose.

I'm still not sure if I can pull this off. The plot of this novel is a woven fabric, not a couple of plot threads. Writing a synopsis of this novel is going to be a bitch. A bigger bitch than writing the synopsis for "Let's Do Lunch" which was a nightmare. (I dropped all the secondary plot threads from the one page synopsis - all the 'meanwhiles' looked stupid.)

All this for a few words from a reader - 'holy crap, I never saw that coming.'


Jean Davis said...

There's something to be said for those challenging characters. They always seem to yield the best plot twists or those awesome 'ah ha!' moments.

When isn't writing a snyopsis a bitch? Maybe we need to write simpler stories? Nah. :)

Ms Kitty said...

Oh, I agree! It's no fun to write a boring story.

Even if the synopsis is going to give me nightmares.

Roger Truesdale refuses to die a coward - my life would be simpler if he would just give up the ghost.

Nope, not happening. (G)