Plot Twist Examples


Plot Twist Examples

Natalie Bright

Need some inspiration to shock and delight your readers? Most often seen in mysteries and suspense thrillers, think about using plot twists in your own work. Here are a few of the most recognizable, and now it’s up to you to put a completely new spin on it for your story.

  1. I Am Your Father

How about those family secrets? Luke discovers his arch-enemy Darth Vader is his father. What a shocker!

    2.  Reveal of the Villain

The person who kills Marion in the shower at the Bates Motel isn’t the overbearing Mrs. Bates, but her son Norman.

    3.  It’s All Just a Dream

In the movie A BEAUTIFUL MIND, a mathematician with schizophrenia had been hallucinating the entire time. The important people in his life are not real.

     4.   Not Really Dead and Bet You Think You’ve Seen the Last of Me

How many times did you suspect the character is dead, and then he comes back to try to kill the hero one more time, or it’s a set-up for the next movie or book in the series? We thought Gandalf fell off the bridge, but he makes a surprise comeback.

You have to touch upon your plot twists so that it makes sense narratively, as in THE SIXTH SENSE. Watch the movie again and pay attention to those subtle clues that David is really dead.

     5.  The Surprise Villian

In TOY STORY 2, Stinky Pete is the antagonist who stopped Woody’s escape plan. In FROZEN, Anna is rescued by Hans and then he leaves her to die to take over the kingdom.

Remember, a plot twist must be narratively sound, unexpected, and it’s best to foreshadow it in some way.

 

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THE BIG WHY


THE BIG WHY

Natalie Bright

 

First off, stop asking yourself why. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received, first heard from David Morrell at the Oklahoma Writers Federation conference in Oklahoma City.

Believe me, you’ll never find the reason or make sense as to why the stories in your head are in your head. I’ve wasted too much time pondering that question. The ideas come from so many parts of you: your childhood memories, those kids that made fun of you, the people you know who made an impact good or bad, the places you’ve lived, your life today. It’s all there in your stories.

When I added fiction writing to my job related and freelance work about 15 years ago, I had envisioned becoming a romance writer. My goals were to sign with an agent and attend the Romance Writers of America conference every year. I’m a huge fan of romances, and most of my author friends write romance. It stands to reason that I’d be cranking those stories out on a regular basis.

Wrong.

The stories in my head were not romance.

The characters that interrupted my dreams were young people, most often from the past. More specifically in the old West. I remember being fascinated with history, the Oregon Trail, and the old West from an early age, but I never imagined I’d be crafting novels set in that time period.

WWA is the West

I attended the Western Writers of America convention in Lubbock, Texas several years ago. This is a diverse group, with songwriters, poets, historians, museum archivists, writers of nonfiction and fiction, editors, agents, musicians, and newbies and veteran authors.

As a first-time attendee and new member, I didn’t expect to make many connections. I listened to a panel of New York City authors share facts about The Alamo that I’d never heard before. Songwriters and talented musicians shared their gift of music every night in the Roundup Room. A panel on writing about the Comanche Nation included great-grandsons of the great chief Quanah Parker! I met the lady who would become my editor, and now she is my co-author.

Here’s what I learned during this amazing week: these people don’t worry about the WHY.

They endlessly research the subjects they love. They write about the people and the places that burn a hole in their gut.  A writer writes. So now I’m writing a book about chuckwagons and a new Christian fiction series set on a Texas ranch. Neither are romance novels, but I stopped questioning the why years ago.

FIND YOUR PEEPS

Whatever you feel driven to write, I encourage you to seek out like-minded people. Join a writer’s group, read your work aloud and listen to the input. Attend a conference, preferably relating to your genre. Introduce yourself and ask someone, “what do you write?” More than likely they will return the question.

Feed your knowledge about this business. Attend workshops or take online classes about characterization, writing a killer query letter, publishing your book on IngramSpark – these are all goals you can achieve.

Stop questioning the why.

Nataliebright.com

THE JOURNEY


THE JOURNEY

By Natalie Bright

This month we’re blogging about genre: what do you write and why? Some days it’s all uphill, chasing this writing fever.

My youngest son graduated high school this year and as we complete the paperwork process for college, I realized he may take his life in a whole new direction than what I had planned. He is a talented artist, since a very early age with a gift for color and design. I made him go to summer art camp as a pre-teen and he says I ruined the joy of drawing for him. He is a gamer, so I tried to steer him towards graphic design,  and he could build a resume by redesigning my website and helping me with social media memes and promo videos. That’s not happening.

Our oldest is also very smart with a talent for business and math. He loves to read, particularly history, and has asked me several times about book premise ideas; “Have you ever read a book where this happens? …” I told him to write it, and that he would find tons of fans with that idea. I had visions of him going to writing conferences with me, and maybe I’d be standing in line at his book signing event one day. But his passion lies in an entirely different area than anything I’d ever considered. It’s not going to be the family business or writing, and that makes me sad.

I remember hurrying home to tell my father about the English and poetry classes I had taken in college, and about my poetry journal. I wrote a book when I was in high school. His reply, “You should take some business classes.” I followed his advice and didn’t get back to writing until twenty years later. Dad had a different idea for my journey, just like I had envisioned our kids’ path.

Light bulb moment: we each have our own path to find. My journey in writing and publishing is MY journey, and MINE alone. No one is going to make me sit down at the computer and hold my hand. I have so many ideas and projects in my head. So many opportunities. The only problem I have is time.

This week has been particularly difficult with day job deadlines, the stories tug at me every minute, but that’s okay. I can do this. I can make everybody happy. I took my laptop with me while we were out of town last weekend, only to realize that I can’t write with someone in the same room. I read over what I had worked on in critique this week and it was horrible. The struggle is real.

Time. I wish I would exercise more and plan healthier meals for my family. I wish the day job would go away, but since my husband is the boss that’s not likely.  I wish I could join the five o’clock morning writers’ group, but my brain doesn’t come alive until seven. I wish I could stay awake all night and finish something. Time.

What I can do is give in to the journey and the stories in my head. What I must do is shut the door and write. Wish me luck. But first, I told my husband, “Yes, I’ll watch Season 3 of Stranger Things with you.”  One-half a step forward and three steps back is my journey.

How do you stay true to your writing? How do you carve out time to get things done?

Thanks for following WordsmithSix!

“The front door to your business is never closed. It’s open 24/7, 365.”


“The front door to your business is never closed. It’s open 24/7, 365.”

Natalie Bright

 

Book Review: RISE OF THE YOUPRENEUR by Chris Ducker (4C Press, 2018) “The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business.”

The above quote from Ducker’s book really caused me to pause and think about my Indie Author business. Our books are always for sell. Every social media outlet should act as a funnel directing people to your store–your website. It’s open all the time and is available to people all over the world. Loaded with tons of insight into today’s world of business, this is just one of many jewels you’ll find in the powerful guide for entrepreneurs.

Social Media has changed the way we do business, how we market ourselves and our products, how we relate to our readers, and this book provides you with timely help for rethinking your personal business. It’s not just for Indie Authors. Any business owner in any industry or career path would benefit from this information and examples for plans for action. There are solid tasks that you can put into practice now. I have marked-up this book with sticky notes, highlighted “to-dos”, and reprinted sections for quotes to hang on my bulletin board.

Add this one to your writing reference library.

 

#amwriting Despite Myself


#amwriting Despite Myself

By Natalie Bright

Self-doubt. I hate when that snarky voice in my head creeps into my work about the time I’m gung-ho in the middle of a new project. The fear of judgment. Is this good enough? Will this book appeal to readers? I can’t write this.

Sometimes it’s impossible to type THE END because of my self-doubt and the battle raging within my own mind. Its so senseless and aggravating, causing your daily word count to come to a screaching halt. Does that ever happen to you?

“Now that I have given myself permission to let the raw side of me loose on the page, I’m finally finding my true voice.” So admits Joanna Penn in her book

THE SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR MINDSET:

A HANDBOOK FOR SURVIVING THE WRITER’S JOURNEY.

I want to share these words with WordsmithSix peeps and how this book has re-energized my goals in regards to my writing. I keep reading the highlighted portions over and over. Ms. Penn covers all of the horrible things that crowd our mind when we should be using that brain power and creative energy to write. She gives readers a glimpse of her own struggles by sharing portions of her personal journals.

Ms. Penn states the problems most writers face and the antidote in clear, concise common sense language. It’s an eye opening read for any writer and a must for every writer’s reference library.

Find out more at the thecreativepenn.com

Women Writing the West


Women Writing the West

Inspiration for writers can come through a variety of venues, and the truth is we can’t be too picky. We’ll take that flash of brilliance whenever and however it is gifted. 

Hanging out with other writers is one of my favorite ways to ignite a fire under the muse. When you’re passionate about something, who doesn’t love to “talk shop”?

As I mentioned in a previous email, sometimes the group your find yourself a part of doesn’t inspire you, and may in fact start wearing you down. I think professional colleagues should not only be a source of information in regards to your profession, but also a positive influence by offering encouragement and congratulations and ideas. Everyone in the group selflessly promotes each other and are genuinely glad for each others successes. Thankfully, I’ve found that through my Critique Group, WordsmithSix. And recently I’ve stumbled upon that again through an online group: Women Writing the West.

www.womenwritingthewest.org

From their website:  Women Writing the West is a group of writers who set their work in the West, and are creating a literary explosion said to be comparable to the Southern literary renaissance in the 1930s. Women Writing the West is open to all persons worldwide.

History and Heritage

I’m extremely passionate about writing westerns for children and affording today’s kids an exciting way to discover history and their heritage. It’s very inspiring to be involved with a group who loves the same genre as I do. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is WWW’s active listserv on Yahoo. Questions are asked, multiple answers are given, blog links are shared, book reviews, promo ideas, and personal reflections on story craft. It’s all good. This diverse group has close to 300 members and holds an annual conference.

Women Writing the West: The flavor we wish to recognize and perpetuate is found between the pages of our books. Join us in the adventure of rich conversations and exchanges; information on writing today, western history, and marketing for the future.

Seeking and Joining

I hope for you, dear blog readers, that you find a group whether it be a few or many, that will offer you encouragement, inspire your muse, and feed your soul.

Keep writing!

www.nataliebright.com