Tag Archive - plot

The Inevitable Ending You Know Is Coming

As contradictory as this might sound, endings in novels need to seem inevitable without being predictable. When your reader finishes the book , she should feel that this was the only  way it could have ended. Everything has led up to this finale, and it just plays out perfectly. This isn’t predictability. You don’t want readers thinking they knew exactly what was going to happen and are bored as they hurriedly flip through the last pages of the book.

Recently I read a couple of award-winning sci-fi novels that were really pretty good until about the last fifty pages. I found myself starting to skim through the inevitable spaceship battles and the endings—to the point that I didn’t really read the last chapters. Such a difference from Orson Scott Card’s masterpiece Ender’s Game, considered one of the all-time greatest sci-fi books written (and I agree!). The surprise twist at the climax and the completely unexpected ending blew me away. Yet, I could say it was the best (and truly only) ending for the book, and entirely unpredictable. Continue Reading…

Layers and Layers of Plot, Oh My!

Novelists focus heavily on plot, and rightly they should. Your novel needs a well-crafted and believable plot. A good story will have one. A great story will have many plot layers. You could call them subplots, but I find it helps to think of them as layers because of the way they work in your story.

Plot layers come in all thicknesses of importance, and if they are designed carefully, they will make your story a rich one with unique and lasting flavors that will linger long after your reader finishes your book. Continue Reading…

Plots ~ Bigger Is Better

If you’ve been following this blog all year, you may have noticed I haven’t gone into plot at all except to talk about the visible plot goal of your protagonist. It’s not that I think plot is unimportant. To the contrary. I’m a stickler for tight, engaging, and well-thought-out plots. But because so many writers put so much emphasis on their plot to the detriment of all the other essential book elements in a novel, I’ve been stalling a bit from delving into the topic. Even though I consider myself a character-driven writer, I make no concessions–in my own novels or in my clients’–for any weakness or plot holes. Continue Reading…

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