Monday, September 27, 2010

Writing a Chubby Checker Novel


C’mon baby, do the twist. An absolute essential in guaranteeing your work comes across fresh and appealing requires you to throw in a twist. And not just one. If you can keep the reader guessing and scratching their head every chapter, you are accomplishing the key goal of gripping them.
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The ultimate feeling you want to leave your reader with is one of satisfaction.
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Picture a bag of bread. As you write, you’ll want each scene to cause readers to move on to the next one. You are spinning the bag of bread, tightening it, ceasing the air flow. You’re producing tension—causing your reader to gasp for breath. Then when the bag is raveled with the perfect amount of tension what do you do? You let the bag unravel and guarantee satisfaction for the reader. You let ’em eat their bread.
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I’ve begun (reading and writing) novels and ditched them because the twist factor isn’t strong enough. Not every novel must be peppered with spine tingling suspense, but there are creative ways to incorporate surprises. Readers love to say I never knew that was coming.
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I’m thrilled because I landed on the twist for my next novel. I had to wait for it. Months. I had to wait months for it, but I’m thankful I did. I’m hoping it will be well worth the wait. Don’t just throw any twist at a character. You’ll know when you’ve come across a winner because it will feel like a bone has snapped back in its joint. It will slide into the story seamlessly.
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Most of you know I’m a fan of dancing. Fresh baked bread also happens to be another of my favorite things. And somehow I’ve incorporated both analogies into this post. C’mon baby, do the twist with a bag of bread in your hands!
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How good are you at doing the twist? Do you love a Chubby Checker novel?
*photos by flickr

27 comments:

  1. You're so clever getting dancing AND bread into your post. LOL
    I do like a good twist in a story, but it's not always a criteria for me unless I'm reading a thriller or mystery. Then it's a MUST.

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  2. This is a good twist itself!! I love a great twist in a story:)

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  3. I am getting better at doing the twist :) Love the way you put this.

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  4. I love that picture. Skirt a swirling! Yes, I love a good story twist too.... it's like wow, did not see that one coming! :O)

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  5. Lol. Ah Wendy, what would my Monday be without your brilliant analogies? :)

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  6. I love it! I'm learning the importance of the twist :) Can't wait to hear about your new story.

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  7. Love your analogies and I love a good twist as well.

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  8. How soon do you like to see a twist (in chapters, words, etc.)? I like them too.

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  9. Yay for twisty novels. I think that's why I love reading Dick Francis so much. He always throws in an unexpected twist. :)

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  10. Oh, I love your bread and Chubby Checker twist idea! And I do love a great twist in a novel. I thought the one in The Help was especially grand.

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  11. LOL yes dancing and bread will be on my brain for the next several hours!! GREAT example. I'm going to try and up the tension as much as humanly possible in my next novel. I believe that's what keeps the pages turning. ;) Fun post!!!

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  12. Well put, Wendy! As a reader I love to be surprised. Shocked. I love to say, "no way! That can't happen!" Sometimes it's hard to put twists into my books, but you're right. It takes time. Sometimes you have to wait for it.

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  13. Love how you used both of these things to illustrate! I do like a good twist, as long as it all sorts out in the end.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  14. I love reading and writing good twists. Love your analogies here.

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  15. Who doesn't love a fresh baked roll! And the twist is a classic that will live on! You nailed it Wendy, and I want my story to nail it too.

    I recently finished a self published book that was interesting enough, and I kept waiting for the spine tingling moment...it never came. Just a loopy roller coaster ride, no gut wrenching drops at all.

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  16. Jennifer, I had fun smashing the two in one. And by twist I am thinking not just the whodunnit kind, but plot turns and things of that nature.

    Heather, It helps stretch out the back.

    Terri, Makes it more memorable, eh?

    Tabitha, Thanks, woman. Powerful and needed post today btw!

    Diane, As I wrote, I think that is one line readers love to say.

    Sarah, I do what I can to make your Mondays what they are. ;) So glad your sister is doing okay!

    Cindy, I keep telling myself to plot more, but I might just have to take a crack at it tomorrow. Can't. Hold. Off. Any. Longer.

    R&M, Odd as they are...they are mine. All mine.

    Kathy, I'll take 'em in a plane. I'll take 'em while reading about Spain. I'll take 'em in a car or at the bar. Okay, I'm loopy. Actually, a little somethin' something that keeps me hooked and reading from chpt. to chpt. works. Twists can be defined in many ways. Am considering providing more clarity on Wed.

    Erica, And pretzels. Must check him out.

    Jeanette, Un-for-get-able (now that I've broken that out I can't even tell if I've spelled it correctly). Loved that one!

    T.Anne, Yes. YES! And it's not even all about suspense novels. Twists and tension should happen with every novel. Jody H. is doing a kick A job of it now in The Preacher's Bride. Man, I'm sweating for Elizabeth.

    Sara, I think I was closed to forcing one in to this next one and it wouldn't have had the same power or forward motion push that the one that took time to come up with will. We shall see.

    Karen, I'm starting to understand more and more how I'm a visual learner.

    Susan, Thanks. You're always good for a good uplifting.

    Tamika, Makes me ask...was it good though? And cheers on the fresh baked roll! My mom still teases me how I asked to take bread home from restaurants.

    So fun to read your thoughts on twists. I received a pile of books in the mail today. I'm drooling.

    Here's to hoping your dreams are peaceful enough for rest, but wild enough to inspire great stories.

    ~ Wendy

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  17. Great post. I love it when authors throw in twists I wasn't expecting. It keeps things lively.

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  18. Love the bread analogy! I won't be able to twist my bread bag again without thinking about what my next twist plot will be. And I'll probably have my kids rolling with laughter as I try to do the twist with the bag in my hand. =)

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  19. Hi Wendy -

    A truly original post! I'll never be able to think of a plot twist without seeing Chubby Checker dancing. :)

    As a reader, I love it when the author keeps me guessing. As a writer, I know how hard it is to achieve that kind of tension.

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  20. I'm looking forward to that next novel Wendy! Can't wait to see the twist!

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  21. Oo - the thing about the bone snapping back in its joint. Apt, all too apt, for this writer with the shoulder that likes to pop out of its socket at the worst times. :-)

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  22. That's great! It's so exciting when you figure out a twist!

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  23. Thanks for coming by my blog. I've strived in my recent revisions to add more "twists." It's not always easy, and sometimes it takes days for the ideas to flow.

    ~Britt

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  24. Nice! I love how you related it to twisting a bag of bread. Good thing to keep in mind!

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  25. Creative title, Wendy! Twists definitely make for exciting reading! And to be honest with you, I didn't see the part about the bag of bread coming, so you managed to score even in your blog post! You go, girl!

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  26. I like your way of pulling us in here. I love it when a twist comes out of nowhere. Sometimes they are something I skim over and only later realize how important that little tidbit was.

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