“Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.” (Pixar’s 22 rules of writing, source)
This quote is perfect for my little blog, because – besides being very true – it’s also one of the best pieces of advice anyone has ever given me. I got this tip years ago when I was still writing my first failure of a book (maybe this doesn’t need saying but I didn’t implement it then) and it has stayed with me ever since. This isn’t the exact same quote I received, but it’s similar enough and says the same.
When you read, you want to be surprised. You love plot twists. So, when you’re the one doing the writing, you want to be able to surprise your readers in return. I know it can be tricky to do, but you shouldn’t write the obvious. Plot twists readers can see coming from page one aren’t plot twists, and make your book predictable and in the worst cases even boring. So, how do you avoid doing just that? You ignore the first three, four, five things you can think of, and then you go with the next one. The advice I was given even asked me to discount the first ten things that popped into my head. If it comes to your mind right away chances are your reader can smell it coming, too.
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