Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Four Ways to Tweak Your Novel's Plot and Give It a Different Twist

February 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 85

The overweight character that I was going to use as a protagonist has since become the antagonist. When I first created her, I had mixed feelings about her. After all, this protagonist-turned-antagonist did have some admirable qualities, such as patience and inner strength. However, the more I got to know that character, the less I cared for her. I'd been very busy all this time trying to cook up problems for her when she was a protagonist. Then I had a brainstorm and played "what if." What if this character was the source of problems for another character, say, her next-door neighbor? The initial problem could be a very simple one involving both characters, one being the protagonist and the other being the antagonist.

Now things began to fall into place and I just finished a paragraph outline of what has happened between the two so far ---- a simple incident in which one, the protagonist, inadvertently getting on the antagonist's nerves, leading to increasing dislike between the two and pressure on the protagonist to do something to relieve the situation. Talking isn't going to do it right now, but teaching someone a lesson just might. That lesson, at least in my novel, needs to be effective and funny.

In creating a plot line for any novel, things will invariably happen that have the potential to give a run-of-the-mill, predictable plot a twist. That twist isn't always obvious. Sometimes it takes a couple of days of writing to make it more so.

So if you're finding that your plot is evolving into a totally different one as you become more familiar with your characters, don't panic or try to force your characters to be something they are not. Here are a few suggestions for doing this:

ADD ANOTHER CHARACTER: This person might be an outsider, such as a consultant, or one who has been sent to serve as a spy for another individual or rival company.

SWITCH CHARACTER ROLES: Sometimes characters aren't what they seem to be at first, as I discovered between a character who was originally supposed to be a protagonist. No wonder I had a problem in giving her problems, Given her noxious personality, she is going to be more effective as an antagonist. Had I rushed to create a plot, I would have soon become bogged down, wondering what would happen next, specifically.

DELVE INTO EXISTING CHARACTERS' PERSONALITIES: Why are they like that anyway and how do you feel about it? Do you honestly like your protagonist? Would you just love to give your antagonist the problems that she can use to make bigger problems for the protagonist? Or would your antagonist be better off dead? Who decides to off her --- and why?

GO WITH THE FLOW IN PROBING EACH CHARACTER'S SITUATION: Write an incident involving him or her and explain why he or she got involved. You would be surprised at the twists and turns that seem to occur to you as you write. These, in turn, may inspire a plot line that may not have occurred to you and add a unique twist to your story/novel. Take it to the extreme. Keep pushing. Assume a child's innocence and for each item, keep asking yourself why and write down the answers. Keep writing even if everything so far seems commonplace and predictable. You increase your chances of striking plot gold. You never know.

Dorothy Zjawin is working on her novel and has shared the lessons learned in this article and in her blog at

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Giving Your Novel S Plot A Different Twist


Switching Character Roles

Teenage rebellion is easier to tolerate in book or film form. Take a look back at some of the most well known and loved "coming of age" stories set in boarding schools.

By: Harvey McEwan l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 444

An important thing you have to consider before working out is having a pair of great training shoes. You cannot immediately undergo any physical training wearing inappropriate footwear. If you do so,

By: Steve Hill l Recreation & Sports l July 10, 2012 lViews: 348

Granite is one natural stone that is used for several purposes from dimension stone to countertops to sculptures. The use of granite for building the temples and monuments was initiated millions

By: Steve L Patterson l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 297

Up to 65,000 H-1B visas for new employment may be issued each fiscal year (FY) for professional workers, including medical providers. In general, a person who already has an H-1B and applies for

By: Ann Badmus l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 308

Beside coin shooting, gold detecting or the many other things you can do with your metal detector. There is a large group of people who take their metal detector out looking for old stuff. Not just

By: Candy L Lindsey l Recreation & Sports l July 07, 2012 lViews: 293

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking l July 06, 2012 lViews: 439

As with all writing, the trick with property descriptions is to be creative. Not for art's sake, but for your reader's sake. And ultimately for the sake of your response rate.

By: Glenn Murrayl Writing & Speakingl July 06, 2012 lViews: 169

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgsonl Writing & Speakingl July 06, 2012 lViews: 439

By reorganizing your website, you can control the key elements of your writing business directly from your office, and there are lots of effective tools to make your job easier. You profit in both

By: Charles Jacobsl Writing & Speakingl July 05, 2012 lViews: 170

Memorable characters have at least one (or more) unique traits, mannerisms or habits to make them stand out from the "crowd" of other fictional people you create for your novel. These reinforce the

By: Charles Jacobsl Writing & Speakingl July 05, 2012 lViews: 247

One particular in the most important factors for anybody who would like to wager income in an online casino will be the safety. Find some info here about how casinos deal with this problem.

By: Matthew Handl Writing & Speakingl July 01, 2012 lViews: 141

A lot of businesses are into press release writing and it's because of several valid reasons. Mainly though, it's due to its effectiveness in business promotion. Both online and offline enterprises

By: Reed Slidelll Writing & Speakingl July 01, 2012 lViews: 130