A Moment With…Tracy Buchanan

tracybuchanan NaNoWriMo is almost over. Most of you will be almost at the end. Tracy Buchanan talks to us about plot twists.

The best plot twists are the most believable ones. Don’t you hate it in novels or films where a twist is thrown in for the drama, and while it might be a ‘wow, really?’ moment, it doesn’t feel true to the characters as it sinks in.

The actions that lead to that twist need to be completely convincing and not out of character. Subtle hints (foreshadowing, as we call it) need to be littered throughout the novel, so subtle that it’s only when you read those final pages that you realise how it all ties together.

A little technique I use (and this doesn’t just apply to plot twists, it can also apply to ‘reveals’ in general, so elements of information held from the reader until later on) is to list the reveals I want to unveil. Then beneath each one, list how I can hint at these reveals throughout the novel without giving anything away.

rp_The-atlas-of-us-pb-font-675x1024-197x300.jpgAnd the best advice of all, which applies to novel-writing in general, is get a few people to read your novel. Did they guess the twists and reveals? Some will and that’s okay. But hopefully, there will be one or two who didn’t and that’s enough to know you’ve cracked the surprise element.


Tracy is a journalist, web producer and author. Her novel, The Atlas of Us (released by Avon) is available in most major bookshops or from Amazon. Find out more about Tracy at tracybuchanan.co.uk

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Novel Kicks
About Novel Kicks/Laura...
Novel Kicks was founded in 2009 and is run by Laura who is currently living in Hampshire, and lives with husband, Chris and her cat, Buddy. She would love to be a writer. She’s trying to write the novel she thinks so much about. She’s loved reading and writing since ‘Creative Writing’ classes in primary school. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything she can get her hands on, she loves reading, dancing like a loon, and watching Project Runway and Ugly Betty (her two TV guilty pleasures.) She also has an obsession with chocolate and Jammie Dodgers.

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