I have no idea who that guy is, if you're wondering.


So, I was just thinking about ways to make unexpected events happen in stories. Sort of of like how Luke Skywalker found out Darth Vader was his father. Please note that I have never seen Star Wars, but intend to at some point. So I was thinking about this after I had brushed my hair, and then I started jumping around my recently rearranged room whisper-shouting “Eureka!” Okay maybe I didn’t say eureka, but I did say “It’s perfect!” which is basically the same thing, right?

Being so mysterious, autocratic (that’s my new favorite word), and undoubtedly brilliant, I forgot to write it down or record it somehow before getting ready for the day.  This means that I had to sneakily lure the ideas into a closet with some caramel and Tootsie Fruit Rolls then swiftly lock the door. Of course, no matter how fast I am with this action, some are always a little faster and escape to lurk at the edges of my memory, somehow avoiding my grasping hands as I frantically look around for a box to stuff them into once I have managed to acquire them.  Once I had the basic ideas memorized for later writing, I thought about why certain things surprise us so much in a story, and why others can be figured out so easily. Sometimes the things that will tell a person what is coming will not be seen as obvious clues to another person. What sorts of stories have surprised you with something that happened? One that I can think of is Starcross by Phillip Reeve. Of course, mentioning what exactly startled me would be giving away something that you might not want me to.  So rather than issue a “spoiler alert!”, I will move forward and put your mind at ease.

What sorts of things would you do in a story, or be willing to do, to surprise your readers? Time paradoxes? Hero-villain relationships? The hero actually being a villain? Your character’s worst enemy turning out to be their benefactor? Personally, time paradoxes give me headaches if I give them too much thought, but I will consider attempting them when I have an idea that appeals to me for that line of story writing. Sometimes though, we don’t get the best plot twist ideas until we’ve actually finished a couple of drafts.

Oh!  I think I’ve just inspired myself to go finish a couple of drafts of my own writing!  Guess what I’m doing now?  :D