A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Where's the plot twist?

Last night I was watching Sherlock with the family, and I was thinking about how sublimely perfect the show is.  I really think they've done a marvelous job both in the writing and the casting of that show.  I mean, how can someone as pasty and odd-looking as Benedict Cumberbatch be so utterly compelling?

(Yes, I know there's some pot-kettle action in me calling anyone pasty.)

Oh, have you not seen Sherlock?  Then by all means hit the couch and watch it.  The first season, three 90-minute episodes, is available on Netflix, and the second season I was able to check out from the library.  They are relatively clean.  I felt okay with Isaac watching them, and Mindy just ignores it or runs away in protest of television in general.

The third season of Sherlock starts filming in January.  It's going to be a long wait.  I may have to start watching Dr. Who.

One of the strengths of Sherlock - of any mystery - is the plot twists.  How I wish I could write mysteries or at least throw some decent plot twists into my novels.  Even as I fell asleep last night I was wracking my brain, hunting for a plot twist for Ravenswood.  Nope.  Nothing there.

Then this morning at breakfast we were discussing the novel Divergent by Veronica Roth.  We've all read the novel.  Jacob had anticipated the first major plot twist, while Isaac and I had both been appropriately surprised.  We discussed the clues the author had given that Jacob had caught.

(Yes, our family does discuss novels over breakfast.  Don't you?)

As we were cleaning the kitchen Jacob brought up Ravenswood.  "I know you want me to give you some specific advice, but I don't have any ideas.  There is something that's missing, though.  You need a good plot twist."

Yep.  There it was.  Even though I didn't anticipate what Caleb was going to do at the beginning of Divergent, I did totally see Jacob's comment coming.  I bet you did, too.

"You're just too honest," Jacob went on.  "You don't lie enough and your characters don't, either."

Who knew that being such an open person would rub off on my characters?  So now I've got to figure out how to be more devious and deceitful.  I'm assuming sneaking three Oreos and then admitting it on my blog a few minutes later doesn't count.

If only I could just throw in some ninja pirates.

So if you find that I'm being sneaky and dishonest, you'll know that I'm just trying to come up with ideas for how to strengthen my novel.  It's nothing personal.

Now go watch some Sherlock.  It's way more interesting than me.

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