Are you looking for a way to write surprises that will captivate your readers? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll give you some writing tips on how to craft surprises that will leave your readers wanting more. So why don’t you give it a try? You’ll be surprised how effective surprises can be in keeping your readers engaged in your creative writing.
When You Write, You Need to Create Tension, Keep Your Readers Engaged and Drop Clues
There’s nothing like the feeling of reading a surprise made by expert hands. All the pieces fall into place and you finally understand what’s been going on all along.
As a writer, it’s a very satisfying experience to create that feeling for your readers. But it’s also a challenge.
To keep your readers engaged, it’s important to create suspense. The best way to do this is to introduce the element of mystery early on and then gradually drop hints as the story progresses. Be careful not to give too much away, though, because that would spoil the surprise. Instead, focus on revealing just enough to keep your readers guessing.
It’s also important that you maintain a sense of urgency in the story. This will ensure that your readers are eager to know what happens next. One way to do this is to raise the stakes regularly. The higher the stakes, the greater the suspense.
Remember to resolve the surprise in a satisfying way. This doesn’t mean you just uncover the mystery and call it a day. Instead, take the time to tie up loose ends and resolve any remaining plot threads.
If you want to write a surprising twist into your story, you must make sure that the reader is slightly off-balance at all times: slightly unprepared, so that he’s ready for a shock. To do this, you must first create a sense of unease in the reader.
For example, here’s an excerpt from “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James:
I held my breath while I waited for what a cry from her, what some sudden innocent sign either of interest or of alarm, would tell me. I waited, but nothing came; then, in the first place–and there is something more dire in this, I feel, than in anything have to relate I was determined by a sense that, within a minute, all sounds from her had previously dropped; and, in the second, by the circumstance that, also within the minute, she had, in her play, turned her back to the water.Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
You Can Also Use Misdirection to Surprise Readers
To really surprise readers, you need to use misdirection.
Misdirection is a technique where you steer people in one direction while secretly intending to lead them in another.
For example, if you’re writing a mystery novel, you might include red herrings – false clues that seem relevant to the case but are ultimately meaningless. With these false clues, you can keep readers in the dark until the real culprit is revealed.
Another common form of misdirection is foreshadowing. That’s when you hint at coming events without giving too much away. For example, if a character says, “I’ve a bad feeling about this,” or has a sixth sense about something, it’s likely that something bad will happen. By misdirecting, you can keep readers engaged until the big reveal and keep them guessing.
Misdirection is a great way to set up a false expectation, and then surprise your readers, whether you use it in dialog, description, or even your inner thoughts and feelings. As with the unexpected plot twist, misdirection works especially well because your reader is anticipating something different.
They expect something to happen, and then you tell them something else.
Another example: When a character has heard good news about his job prospects and walks into the room where his girlfriend is waiting for him, she may expect him to be happy about the news. But instead, he’s angry about what she’s up to!
When Your Characters Accidentally Stumble on the Unexpected, It Often Creates a Memorable Moment
When your characters happen to stumble upon something unexpected, it often makes for a memorable moment. The element of surprise can add tension and excitement to your story and help your characters better understand the world around them.
However, a truly successful surprise requires careful planning and execution.
- First, think about what kind of surprise you want to write. Do you want to reveal a hidden secret? Introduce a new character? Or do you want to take your characters in an unexpected direction? Whatever you choose, make sure it fits organically into your story.
- If you know what kind of surprise you want to write, you should start with clues early on. This will build suspense and keep your readers guessing. Be careful not to give too much away, though; the best surprises are the ones that come completely out of the blue.
- Finally, pay close attention to your characters’ reactions. The way they react to the surprise will help shape their development and move the story forward. Surprises are a great opportunity to show different sides of your characters, so make the most of them!
If you have a main character who’s stuck in a rut, an unexpected event can be used as a way to get them out of their comfort zone and create conflict or tension.
A good example of this would be if one of your characters accidentally steps on another person’s foot while getting off the elevator, causing her to spill coffee all over her jacket. Or she stands too close to an open window during a storm and her hat gets blown off.
Anything that takes your character out of her comfort zone is good here because it gets her to react instead of just doing what she’d normally do.
When you build that into your story, there’s more opportunity for conflict and tension. It also shows us how well developed your characters are because it shows us how they handle something completely new and unknown under pressure!
However, sometimes people don’t react well to surprises. Keep that in mind when planning how things should unfold in the context of what’s happening around them (i.e. if something funny happens, it mightn’t be so bad). But if there’s more danger, maybe we should hesitate a little before reacting impulsively.
You Don’t Want Readers to Predict the Plot Twist, but They Do Need to Understand How It Came About
As any writer knows, a surprising plot twist can be a great way to add excitement and suspense to a story. However, it’s important that the twist not be too predictable. Otherwise, readers will see it coming from far away and it’ll lose its impact.
At the same time, the twist shouldn’t be so confusing that readers can’t remember what happened. The key is to find a balance between these two extremes.
One way to ensure that the twist isn’t too predictable is to introduce red herrings as the story progresses. This keeps readers on the wrong track and keeps them guessing until the end.
Another way to keep the twist from becoming too obvious is to carefully place clues along the way. However, make sure that these clues aren’t too obvious, or they’ll give the game away. Finally, don’t be afraid to change the expected order of events. This can help keep readers on their toes and make the surprise all the more delightful when it finally occurs.
A key to a successful surprising event or surprise ending is that it’s logically constructed. If you can justify your surprise, the reader will be able to follow the process by which they came to a conclusion – one that turned out to be wrong in the end.
Give them enough clues to make them feel like they should have anticipated the twist, rather than feeling like you just played out an arbitrary scenario or chose an outcome on a whim.
Also, make sure your plot is consistent with the characters’ motivations. Imagine writing about a group of white supremacists who want to blow up Times Square on New Year’s Eve – if their plan is foiled by a peace-loving hippie, it just doesn’t ring true. Your characters have to behave in a way that’s true to their nature.
The Surprise Should Add Value to the Story
A good surprise should add value to the story. It should be something that is unexpected but not random, something that fits well with the story but is not overtly foreshadowed.
A well-executed surprise can make a story more suspenseful, more emotional, or more humorous. It can also help to build empathy for a character by revealing previously hidden aspects of their personality.
In order to ensure that a surprise adds value to the story, it is important to plan ahead and make sure that the surprise is well-integrated into the plot. With careful planning, a surprise can be a powerful tool for enhancing any story.
Surprise Is a Powerful Emotion That You Should Use in Your Writing
People love surprises. A well-placed surprise can make your story more exciting and be a powerful tool to create empathy and engage your readers.
- It’s important to remember that surprise is an emotional response, so you need to find a way to evoke that emotion in your readers. One way to do this is to create suspense by hinting at what’s to come without giving too much away. Another way is foreshadowing, where you give hints of what’ll happen later in the story.
- Once you’ve got your reader’s attention, you can build in the element of surprise. This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most effective is to subvert expectations. If you manage to surprise your readers, they’ll be much more likely to feel a sense of surprise.
Of course, it’s important not to go too far with this approach, or you risk losing credibility with your audience.
It needs to be carefully controlled because too many twists can frustrate or confuse readers. Instead, create a sense of familiarity with the world of your story right at the beginning – so readers know what to expect -and then start slowly with small surprises that build on each other and change their expectations without overwhelming them.
If you use it correctly, surprise can be a powerful tool for making your text (and your writing process!) more engaging and exciting. Just remember to keep your surprises consistent and grounded in your characters, plot, and setting and you’ll be sure to surprise your readers in the right way.