You’ve been reading the most amazing book and so far, you feel fairly confident you know what’s going on with the plot and the characters. Not that the storyline is boring, or you can easily predict how the story is going to end, but you feel comfortable putting the book down for a minute and knowing what’s going on without having to go back and reread parts of it again…
When I don’t want to be challenged or forced to pay close attention, I love picking up one of my favorite romance novels and losing myself in the simple boy meets girl drama with the obvious plot structure because it follows the romantic trope I know and love. I’m not surprised when the old girlfriend comes back and throws a monkey wrench into the newly forming love affair. Nor am I shaken to my core when the hero walks out on the sweet girl because he thinks he’s just no good for her.
Tropes are great for easy reading when I just want to escape the every day stresses of my life as a stay-at-homeschool mom who also happens to be a romance writer.
What happens when you take a step back from your own life and realize there have been no surprise developments as of late? Everything is going as it’s always gone. Nothing is broken, but nothing is changing or moving either. You know exactly what to expect on Tuesday because it’s taco Tuesday, ballet until 6 p.m., laundry day and time to wash the baseboards.
It’s nothing we can put our finger on and say… this particular thing is missing from my Tuesday, but there is something missing–maybe not from Tuesday, but from life in general.
I know, the grass is never greener on the other side and if it is, you have no idea how they get it like that. So, water your own grass and be quiet!
I know. I get it. If there is nothing wrong, then don’t try to fix it.
I have told myself this time and time again. Every time that restless feeling bubbles up inside me and makes my entire body feel like one great, big, open nerve ending. I can’t keep still, can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in or even the right food to make me feel satisfied.
What is it I’m looking for? What do I need?
A plot twist.
I need an unexpected development to take place in my life. Something to set my soul on fire; something just for me and my personal benefit.
I’m a writer, I should be able to write an effective plot twist into my own life, right?
What Type of Plot Twist Do I Need?
Which of these plot twists do I need in my life at this exact moment?
Here’s the thing. I’m 45 with one daughter living in Brazil for the next three months. Another child turned 16 this past November, and my baby will be a freshman in high school next school year.
One would think I’ve had enough plot twists in my life to keep me busy for the next twenty or thirty years, but all of these developments have or are happening outside myself. They’re plot twists in the lives of the people I love.
Well, all except me turning 45 at the end of last year. But I expected that, so not really a surprise development.
I’m ready to shake some things up in my life. Ready to become my own plot twist.
Looks like only two out of the eight would plot twists above would work for my self-appointed plot twist. Honestly, the one I’m most leaning toward is the one I can hardly pronounce. Thanks, Aristotle.
- Anagnorisis–The protagonist has a new understanding of their identity; who they are internally is what flips.
Becoming more self-aware. This is the plot twist I’ll write into my own personal story.
I endeavor to write several plot twists into my life each year, but it’s this one that establishes how the next 365 days of my life will go. I’ll use this widely used writing technique to…
Life is a journey. Just because we wander doesn’t mean we’re lost. Don’t be afraid to be your own plot twist.