You don't need a full outline -- you just need a plot twist

In the first four units of this novel-writing course, we discussed:

So now you may be thinking: this is all great, but how do I begin moving my story forward?

How do I plan out and write an exciting plot?

Do I need to write out every scene in advance in a huge and complicated outline?

In this video, I present a very simple way to construct a good story: by focusing on plot twists.

This kind of plotting is easy to plan out -- while also holding your reader's attention. 

(Note: this video is a little less hi-tech than the previous videos in the seminar: as you'll see, I recorded it outdoors, at the end of a long road-trip across Maine.) 

Here's my argument: plot twists are the key components of great storytelling. 

But how to make the twist seem both inevitable and exciting?

This video teaches you how to 

  • prepare your reader for a surprise
  • keep your story on track
  • make even the smallest shifts and twists count
A picture of me, Daniel Wallace

Thank you for watching!

Now let's write!

Are you ready to try this out? 

If you enjoyed the video, and would like to try those techniques on paper, I have a worksheet for you. You don't need to leave your email address or share anything -- it's completely free to download.

This worksheet is designed to test your writing muscles, and to help you add a plot twist or two to your own work-in-progress.

Click the yellow button, below, to access the printable.


What other writers say:

I wish I had taken a class like this sooner.

"With Daniel's scene instruction workshop, I was able to write more quickly and competently. He created a path for writing my chapters. Using his scene maps, I understood the scene I was crafting and how it functioned within the framework of my novel. He created a path for writing my chapters, and I could focus on both the narrative and character arcs simultaneously. I wish I had taken a class like this sooner. I would've been a better novelist and my short story production would've been much larger."

JOHN VURRO //  Writer

Julia Brown testimonial

Daniel’s courses are chock full of useful information.

"Not all good writers are good teachers, but Daniel David Wallace (a talented, thoughtful writer himself) is a terrific instructor. If you can take a class with him, do it!"

JULIA BROWN //  Editor and author

tawni waters bio pic

Is it weird that I think of him as my literary midwife? Because I totally do.

"Daniel respected my work and vision on a profound level but also had a keen editorial eye and a stroke of literary genius that took everything I’d written to the next level."

TAWNI WATERS  // Award-Winning Author of The Long Ride Home & Beauty of the Broken

Join the Seminar

More videos are coming. 

During this "novel writing seminar," I'll share techniques and printable worksheets for:

  • picking a good narrator for your story
  • creating a protagonist who takes action
  • avoiding stress and blockages
  • knowing when to STOP researching
  • building an outline with boxes and arrows

These are the same techniques I've taught to dozens of writers.

It's a comprehensive, free course for aspiring novelists.

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