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How can authors save a story from predictability? Is it done by adding too many plot twists, which can make the story chaotic, or a revelation so substantial that it becomes unbelievable?

Readers pick a book to be fascinated and excited. With reading as a means of escape, no reader wants to be exposed to a story that’s too mundane and predictable it seems routine. This is why a plot twist is one of the most essential factors authors must consider in writing.

But is it the only way to save a story from predictability?

Every Story Needs a Sprinkle of Surprise

Mystery is vital in stories, and it’s an aspect that isn’t only limited to the mystery or thriller genre. Readers prefer books that will keep them on the edge of their seats, itching to know more about the story as the pages progress. Mystery seizes readers’ attention, keeping them engaged and interested throughout the book’s hundreds of pages and the story’s multiple highs and lows.

If authors wish success, they must learn to create chaos and cover it with secrecy.

But this should not be too confusing.

Like everything else in moderation, literature also requires surprise in the same amount. Every author is encouraged to save a story from predictability and their readers the trouble of wasting their time over something they could foresee in a snap. Yet, authors are still reminded never to go overboard.

Stories require the right amount of surprise to make the journey predictable yet still desirable. They should furrow readers’ eyebrows, but authors must ensure this is due to interest and never bewilderment. Sure, if stories are all about mystery, authors can simply incorporate it into their plots carelessly. Fortunately, quality is also a crucial factor in literature.

This saves readers from stories so convoluted that it’ll take them moments to understand even after they’ve closed the book. Stories like this take the fun out of reading, making them more like homework or arduous puzzles to decode. 

How to Properly Save a Story From Predictability

Every author is responsible for saving a story from predictability without passing the burden of decrypting it to the readers. In literature, there’s a balance between chaos and order to uphold.

Rather than piling twists and incorporating too unbelievable revelations, authors must learn to plot an equation that’s pleasing yet surprising.

One thing Jill S. Flateland has mastered in her storytelling is the art of unpredictability. In her book, Until We Meet Again, readers are exposed to complex relationships that birth an equally complicated plot, yet the author learns to keep everything organized. Jill made her story less predictable without causing confusion and trouble to readers. She understood that in order for stories to be enjoyable, they must cause a good kind of trouble, not one that would make readers scratch their heads and get stumped.

Predictability in stories may mean it has religiously followed a proper structure. But Jill’s book proves that unpredictability doesn’t necessarily mean the plot is in absolute shambles.

Create Shocking Surprises

To save a story from predictability, authors don’t only have to focus on creating event-related twists. Instead, they can also incorporate surprises that are character-centric.

Most readers, especially those with a long history of reading mysteries, may already have a developed grasp of plot twists. They can sense these from a mile away, making them predictable instead of the contrary. Hence, another way to incorporate surprises would be to deliver them through the characters. A character that was thought to be on the good team may be revealed to actually be working for the bad guys. Surprises like this are among the least likely to be predicted.

Adding these surprise factors in stories requires attention to detail and skills. They’d need to catch readers off guard and authors to think outside the box. While planning these out can be taxing, the payoff is also consequential to authors.

Plan an Impressive Reveal

Authors may plan an imposing plot twist, but if it’s revealed in a less alluring way, the impact is canceled out. The delivery is as vital as the detail. Hence, authors require an effective reveal for an effective misdirection. This will not only save a story from predictability but also entertain readers by distracting them from the truth.

Red herrings and misdirection are only effective if delivered at the right pace and time. When done right, they completely change everything and the readers’ perspective of the story. A good author can convince readers that the story should turn out one way instead of what they’re planning.

Ultimately, authors have to be convincing to save a story from predictability. They must be used to twisting their truths and misdirection to enhance their story until the conclusion.

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