Final Thoughts on Plotting

Outtakes 378


Final Thoughts on Plotting

By Cait Collins


Sometimes a story gets ahead of us.  The ideas have come so quickly we try to push them into the opening pages. I recently read a mystery and before the end of the first chapter I knew the villain. The ending had no surprise. A mystery and even a romance should allow the reader to speculate and theorize. There should be room for the “eureka” moment.

Of course we need to provide hints and clues, but they need to be subtle. There should be shadows and secrets that reveal themselves at the climax. The revelation should lead to a satisfying ending that ties all the loose strings. The journey should keep the reader guessing until just the right time and place. We should want the reader to shake his head and think, “I wasn’t expecting that.”


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