May 25, 2012

Loopiness and Twists

This week has been interesting.  Half of it I was very loopy, in and out, dozing and keeping my ankle above my heart.  I have been managing my pain with a non-narcotic prescription (narcotics and I are NOT friends) but even then I haven't had the brain capacity that I usually do.  This was evidenced by the fact that I spent Monday watching a Project Runway marathon because that was about the level of my comprehension for the day.

As the fog cleared, I spent more time watching NCIS marathons - more brains required for this one.  I probably caught three or four episodes three days in a row now, and here's what I've noticed.  With the exception of one time, I never completely figured out "who did it" before it was revealed.  It kept my attention, engaged my mind and I felt emotionally connected to the characters every single time. 

This has me thinking about my book.  There are some things that don't quite make sense - a puzzle that the reader needs to take with the characters - and if they are like me, most are willing to be confused and perplexed, even liking it sometimes, if they care about the characters.  Plot twists are all fine and dandy, but if the reader doesn't care about the characters, it's just blah. 

And that's about the end of my brain capacity for the week :)

Have you ever experienced a plot twist that fell flat because you just didn't care?  What about the twists that have you exclaiming out loud? 



27 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Because I didn't care? Sure, and far too often.
Hope you're a little less foggy today.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I enjoy a good plot twist, but I don't like knowing one is coming. That got to be annoying with director M. Night Shyamalan.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Me and Narcotics are NOT friends either. They make me a little crazy/loopy/out of it. Yep. Can't take them. I hope you're healing well! And I do love plot twists. Makes everything so much more fun. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Yea, there have been times I just didn't care enough to wonder about plot twists. But I will say that it's hard to surprise me. I usually figure things out.

Andrew Leon said...

Most plot twists are contrived for the sake of the twist, and I hate those. There is no logic in them, and they often do it by hiding some piece of information.

My example is The Prestige vs The Illusionist.
Prestige=good
Illusionist=bad

I have a post about it somewhere on my blog.

loverofwords said...

What I think is amazing is how wonderful our writing is when we write it and then a few days after, the re-read is. . .not so good.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It must be wonderful to write a novel , It'a more involved than poetry.

Yvonne.

Leslie Pugh said...

Hope you keep getting better and better!

I have read books with plot twists that really disappointed me. Or really predictable story lines. But there are so many other amazing books that make me happy that a few disappointments now and then are okay.

Clarissa Draper said...

I always figure out who is the killer in each episode because it's usually the highest paid guest actor. Usually it will be someone's face you recognize from another show or movie. When it's like that though, I get bored--who wants too easy.

Carissa Taylor said...

I definitely agree with you! There's nothing better than a plot twist that has me saying "whoa, ok I didn't see that coming, but I totally get it!" But I think you're really on to something there - no amount of plot twisting is going to matter if I don't like the characters/voice of the story.

Love your blog BTW - new follower!

McKenzie McCann said...

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is full of great plot twists. There are a lot, but it's never overdone.

Now, the anime series Bleach on the other hand, has a plot twist in every single episode. It got ridiculous very quickly.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have experienced just that. I was reading a book last week and just couldn't care about the blah characters so I returned it to the library, unread and unloved, a sad thing for a book.

Vero said...

Plot twists that are predictable, unnecessary or unnatural spoil the entire book for me, because they make either the characters unbelievable, or the writer.

What I do love are twists and surprises that are foreshadowed in a clever way and absolutely crucial to the story. The kind where, after you read them, you realize that events couldn't have happened any other way.

Oh man, I'd snap a leg to write one of those!

No pun intended. *cough*

Get well soon! Heidi Klum really isn't that interesting.

Charlie Holmberg said...

Hope you feel better soon! Love the plot-twist wheel, btw.

I remember having an entire book fall flat because I just stopped caring about the characters. So much that I just didn't want to finish it, period. Oh well, 80,000 words of practice, instead.

Much luck with the writing!

Connie Keller said...

Narcotics. Yuck. I can't read or put two thoughts together when I have to take heavy pain killers. I hope you're feeling better soon!

Tonja said...

I find it very easy to fall asleep during NCIS but not project runway. What's with that?

I have an award for you.

And I hope you feel better soon. Narcotics aren't my friend either.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I hope you heal up and feel better soon!

I love a good plot twist, especially one where the clues were planted all along and you overlooked them. For example, when I watched The Prestige for the second time and saw all the things I didn't notice that were RIGHT THERE for me to see.

In fact, The Prestige might be an exception to your "care about the characters" premise, because none of the characters are very likable. But you can't stop watching ...

Lynn Proctor said...

yes--and sometimes i hurry too much to tell the great twist!

elizabeth seckman said...

I spent a whole weekend watching Jersey Shore...got to let the brain rest every no and then.
Hope you feel better!

Angela Cothran said...

I need one of those wheels. I have a feeling it will solve all my problems.

Tara Tyler said...

i love charts!
love that you kept thinking thru your loopiness!

fairbetty said...

Yay! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have been noticing plot twists a lot more, for sure... I did a Castle marathon for a while, and 9 times out of 10 I can pick who "done" it... which felt sort of like a let down... It is important to keep your reader's interest and challenge their intellect. Hard to do, though!

Lynda R Young said...

If I don't care about the characters, then I don't care about the story no matter how many plot twists there are.
I hope you are feeling better.

Kate Larkindale said...

Characters are the key. Unless you care about them, there aren't enough plot twists in the world to keep me reading... Or watching.

Jolene Perry said...

My favorite is when I think about something new, and almost jump out of my chair in excitement :-D

Simon Kewin said...

Yep, all too easy to be "clever" and miss out the good writing. Been there!

E. Arroyo said...

Some great insight. I agree. Great post.