How to Write Mind-Blowing Plot Twists—Twisting is NOT Twerking

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Okay so on Monday I talked about 3 Mistakes that Will Make Readers Want to Punch a Book in the Face. One of the mistakes involved the twist ending. Very often a writer believes she has written a twist when in fact, it is NOT a twist at all, it is a twerk.

Twisting the reader? YES. Twerking the reader? NO.

You’ve heard the literary term MacGuffin? For the sake of a simple analogy, I’m adding a new one and it is called a MacGyver 😛 .

How is a MacGyver a twist?

We know MacGyver is in a bad spot and he has two choices. The obvious one. A gun. Blast his way out. Or he has is det-cord, glitter, and coffee stirrers.

OMG! How can he ever survive?

MacGuyver uses what he is given and fashions the glitter, det-cord and coffee stirrers into a small incendiary device…

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It’s been a wild ride

Two years ago this month my cousin wound up in the hospital after attempting to overdose on her medication. In May, 2014, I started writing Marlee’s Story, a 40,000 word novella that evolved into Nothing Everything Nothing.

One year ago I booked a day off work and drove down to the other end of the city for my very first radio interview. I’ll admit I was nervous. I’m an anxious driver and I wasn’t familiar with that part of the city so I left early. I didn’t want to get lost and be late. I was nervous about the interview too. I didn’t want to be boring. I didn’t want to sound lame. I’d told a lot of people about it and I knew some of my family members would be listening.

I arrived at the station, one of those office buildings where every floor is occupied by a different company. It was across a very large parking lot from a strip mall. I was dressed nice and in hindsight could have done without the heels. It was radio after all, no one was going to see me, but I really liked those shoes. I also should have left the big box of books in the car and only brought in 2 copies. But it was my first time and you have to learn these things as you go along.

I’d never seen a radio station before so I didn’t know what to expect. Honestly, if you’ve seen Frasier you know what to expect. Once you got past the reception and the people working at their desks you came to the sound rooms – two little rooms with a window between them, one for the sound tech, one for the host. I got a comfy chair and a big microphone and off we went.

I was talking to Dahlia Kurtz on CJOB 680AM. She runs a Helping People Fridays show where she focuses on people out there trying to help people. People call in to talk about community volunteers and she gives away prizes. Dahlia is awesome, she gave me some tips, told me how close to the mic I needed to be, and made sure a clip of our interview would be available online so I could share it with family who were out of town. She’s cheerful and fun and I started to relax pretty quickly.

We talked about my novel, at the time it was my only one, Nothing Everything Nothing. We talked about bullying, about my cousin’s story, about why I’d chosen Kids Help Phone to donate money to. All in all I was in the building for half an hour, tops, and that’s only because I arrived so early!

That weekend I went to the Kids Help Phone walk-a-thon at the invitation of one of the coordinators, a lovely woman I’d been speaking to via e-mail since Nothing Everything Nothing had been released. They gave me a table next to the raffle and I was able to talk to a lot of people. I even sold a few books. While Nothing Everything Nothing was my only novel at the time, ReImagined was also out. So I brought it with me and donated $2 from every copy of that book sold as well.

A lot has happed since then. I finished my first fantasy novel, Rose in the Dark, and released it at the end of May, 2015. I wrote my first children’s book, Nelly-Bean and the Kid Eating Garbage Can Monster. I wrote a new YA contemporary novel titled Pieces which came out in March of 2016. I had the children’s book translated into French. I’m working on the second book in my fantasy series and looking at some new projects as well.

Today I am returning to the Kids Help Phone walkathon, in fact by the time WordPress releases this post I’ll be there, all set up and waiting to meet others who are passionate about helping the people who help our youth. I will have 3 novels, my collection of poems and stories, and a children’s book with me with proceeds from every sale being donated to this dedicated organization. You can help too. Click the Book List link above and purchase one of these wonderful titles (Off the Market, Pants on Fire, and Recipes and Memories excluded) and I will donate $1 to Kids Help Phone for every sale, all day.

On Saturday May 7th I will be in the auditorium of the largest library in my province with over 30 other authors meeting local readers and networking with local authors. On May 13th I’ve been invited to speak to a community group in Springfield.

I got a new job last summer working in a wonderful daycare center. I went back to school to get my ECE II diploma. My son is finishing grade 1 next month. My daughter is registered for Kindergarten. I’m expecting two nieces/nephews/one-of-each next month. It’s been a busy year. It’s a busy time now.

Two years ago my cousin, my goddaughter, attempted suicide. It wasn’t the first time. She’s cut a few times since then but on the whole she is getting better. She is finishing grade 9 next month. There is hope for her and that makes me happy because she is special to me.

Later, when I finish a few other projects, I want to write another YA contemporary novel. It will be about a teenage girl but I don’t know her name and I don’t know what her story is. But what I do know is that Molly, the teenage girl inspired by my cousin, and Megan, the main character of Pieces, will be in this new book. I know they will be grown up, they will have careers, and they will come together because of this teenage girl. They will become the safety net.

That is a story for another time. Right now, I’m very busy.