I originally wrote this blog post in German for another community, but I felt like I give it a try to translate and share it with you folks. This is the first post of a now three series which I’m intending to expand since now and then, I get new ideas or encounter other cases when writing or editing stories.
I'm sorry if it appears to be a bit random, but I wrote it as the ideas came to my mind.
Make sure, to also check out GayAuthor's writing resources!
I'm sorry if the intro is a little short, but the subsequent parts will be considerably longer and more in detail.
Grandparent scam/assets of a Nigerian prince
Don’t just pull rabbits out of the hat when you need them. If there was given no hint beforehand whatsoever, it may be convenient, but feel like cheating at the same time. It’s better to lay out the bait a few scenes before.
The Hunt For Red Herring
A story, you know the ending when you read the first page, is rightfully considered dull by most readers. That’s why especially whodunit-type stories use distractions, deceptions, and plot twists to fire full blast. Just like a magician, you are not just telling facts but making them entertaining, and let the readers delve into fictional worlds.
One common mistake is to create a deceptive plot line that doesn’t seem to serve another purpose than the deception itself. Readers will often times feel dissatisfied by that.
More information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47ntBElzaWk&list=PLG2IXYJ6H-fuZzLunP0fSUNrZYAm8mUtK&index=17&t=55s
It was exactly x days ago
Why so precise? Quite unlikely in reality. If being that precise doesn’t serve the story in any way or has no specific reason, scratch it. A lot of things are dependent on a lot of factors. Our daily lives rarely work dead on time each and every day without any incidents. That kind of process fits an evil mastermind more than an average protagonist who isn’t a Mary Sue.
Show, don't tell
“We’ll send our best men”
"We send group xyz”
It’s said that this group was perfectly trained for missions like this. When they were sent, it normally meant, things were severe.
Good vintage has to stock for quite some time
… and sometimes, it gets forgotten in the vine cellar. Or simpler: When I want to harvest vegetables or corn, I have to put seeds in the ground and wait in the first place before the seed yields fruits. It’s just not fast food!
Two pieces of information, which trigger an epiphany or a change of mind, shouldn’t be introduced within the same scene. That makes it more authentic, more surprising. Many plot twists are planned well in advance. Some even date back to the very first chapter and don’t come into play before the climax.
This is essentially called "Chekhov's Gun" (by StudioBinder as seen in "How Knives Out Perfects").
His name was John Doe. His mother, Jane Doe […]
No shit, Sherlock! I would have never guessed that both had the same family name, since they are related. Of course, there are exceptions but in these cases, mentioning it makes sense.
My father was a miner. I am a descendent of Charlemagne
— former German chancellor candidate at every given opportunity during his campaign
You should refrain from attributing complex and implausible family trees to your character if that is not explicitly needed, or you want them to make themselves a fool.
Here are some more tips on Writing with Jenna Moreci: BEST AND WORST WRITING TIPS
Also, the On writing playlist by Hello Future Me
These are the channels with the most videos in my storytelling playlist
See also: "How To Write A Twist Ending" with John Gray by Film Courage on YouTube
Edited by Zuri
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