What is a twist and how do you separate it from your typical surprising ending? Do all twists have to be massive plot level revelations? And is a twist just a gimmick? Should all books have twists? And at what point in your story should your twist arrive? Finally – we discuss how all stories can have twists and challenge everyone to write one of their own!
What makes a good villain? How do you avoid cliches? How do you effectively layer your villains? And how do you use villains in different genres? Can you have an ideal as a villain? And what about those villains we don’t vanquish by the end of the book? Don’t forget that your villainy must be tangible to your protagonist and relatable to your reader!
What is a high concept idea? And do you need one in order to write? Should you build your story around your theme or let it emerge through your story? And what about writing to genre conventions? We talk about what inspires us, how to write in and out of the box, and shut down that voice of resistance in your head!
How do you know if you have created a distinct character? How important is role? And what is a supporting character anyway? How do motivation and subplot work toward giving your characters individuality? And what sort of tools can you use to help create these individuals? In the end Alida wraps it all up together, and even gives some great exercises to help you create distinct characters.
How is setting different from world building? What do you put on the page and what should you leave out? How much detail is too much detail? And how do you keep your setting active in your story? Robert gives great practical ways to evaluate your style of writing setting, and how to make it better!