Feb. 04 Writing Prompt

So, if you have been following along, this week we are covering the arcs of the story.

If you haven’t been following along, what the hell, man? Go catch up!

As a recap, here is what you should have now:

  • A story arc with more than one climax, more than one resolution, but all about the main story.
  • A pre-inciting subplot that gets the reader excited.

Today, it would be logical to add more subplots, right? Be we aren’t going to do that!

Ha, mind readers from yesterday, take that!

No, instead, today we are going to get you as the writer excited!

Do you know what a writer’s 2 favorite words are?

Ummm, no the OTHER two favorite words.

YES! “The End.”

Nothing is more exciting or exhilarating for an author than to type those two little words on the past page of a final draft.

Therefore, logically speaking, writing (or planning) the ending is also exciting.

Now, you already have your ending. We worked on that earlier this week with the story arc.

So I want to introduce you to another subplot that I love to use: the “Denouement Spike.”

This little beauty isn’t something you can use every time. It needs to be special. It also is generally only a scene or two long. Starts, climaxes and ends quickly. Kinda like me in the…never mind.

The position of this subplot is what makes it so special. It comes after the main story is over, when everything is wrapping up. It gives the readers that “oh no!” feeling before fading into the ending.

Surprise! It’s not over yet!

So let’s look at the prompt, then I will explain it’s use and purpose.

February 04

Write a subplot that happens quickly and comes at the end of the story.

The Denouement Spike is best visualized in horror movies.

The scene at the end, when the survivors are getting in the police car, the sun has come up, music calmed and the killer lay dead in the middle of the street.

Things are over and we can move to the denouement and end the movie.

BUT! Then the killer sits up and isn’t dead!

He starts to rise, the kids are screaming.

And the one left for dead halfway through the movie shows up, shoots the killer in the back of the head. End of the threat, and Todd is alive!

A short burst that gives the audience a heart pumping, “oh no I thought it was over!” before it finally really is over.

Going back to my novel Tremble, I will add in the Denouement Spike for my outline.

It Looks Like This

Resolution: Ryan learns that his choice was the right one to make, even if it wasn’t the one he wanted, especially after learning the full story.

Denouement: Ryan must become accustomed to his new life, disabilities and living with his more permanent injuries, including those of his wife, Jessica.

Denouement Spike: A sudden knock at the door startles Ryan. He rolls his wheel chair over only to find no one there. A small package is left at the door. He opens it to find a note and the mask the abductor was wearing!

Is the killer out there? Will Ryan and his wife be abducted again? What is going on?

The sudden surge in blood pressure from the reader is one of those ending “tricks” that makes them love the book, hating to put it down and asking you in reviews and fan letters and posts to write another so they can have more.

And it that doesn’t get you (as the author) excited about writing your novel, nothing will.

Don’t forget to post your Denouement Spike in the comments below. Let’s see that progress you are making!

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