Sunday, March 1, 2015

Questions and Understanding

I would love to ask my readers a question. What do you think of stories that are predictable? 

I have watched many TV shows and have read dozens of books that fit this category. Just a few moments into the storyline and I already have the ending figured out. I have even answered all of my questions regarding characters I have just met. I feel bad for the author in these scenarios, because usually I close the book and never pick it back up, or I change the TV station. 

How do you make your story not predictable? How do you disguise your storyline in such a way that your readers cannot unlock every hidden meaning ten pages in, but instead are interested enough to find out the ending, because they decided to turn that last page. 

Experience in life makes this difficult, because so many events are so similar. I've read this before, seen this before, or my best friend went through this--the list goes on. Where is the mystery? 

I want to hear what you think. What elements within a story keep you engaged? 


  1. Predictability is so hard for me as a writer. I know the plot beforehand, so, even if something came as a surprise to me during plotting (I love it when that happens), by the time I've revised and edited the MS, it all looks like "same-ole, same-ole" to me, if that makes sense.

    Usually, if I'm thinking something's too predictable in my work, I go back to the first idea I had about the book. The "What If" moment that really made me excited because the idea was different. And, keeping with the characters' personlities and motivations, I write down some off-the-wall things that could happen and complicate things and up the conflict and tension. I have a treasure in my sister, to whom I can go with plot problems. As a non-writer, she isn't bogged down with all the writing rules and has a gift for humor and making ordinary ideas into extraordinary ones.

    This is a thought-provoking post! Thanks for getting me thinking!

    1. Those are some awesome tips! It is great to be able to discuss your ideas with someone else--you can gain such a fresh perspective from this.

      People say that there is nothing new under the sun, but I still say that you can put a new twist on any story. Sometimes romance stories can be predictable, but mysteries never seem to be. However, that may be because I prefer older works. :) I can't speak on behalf of modern tales. Yet even in romantic plots, there is still a new setting to be written amongst a new set of guidelines for the events set to come. Does that make sense? One of my favorites, aside from Jane Austen, is Janette Oke's Love Come Softly series. A reader may have read books that were set in the west before, but that reader has never read the love story of Clark and Marty. :)