Tag Archives: plot

A Crash Course in In Media Res

Hello Writer Bugs!

Today, I’m sharing with you a writing trick that will hook readers from the first sentence. Yes, you heard right. Grab the audience’s attention instantly with In Media Res.

Confused by this Latin phrase? Don’t worry, I’m simplifying this narrative technique. This is the crash course in In Media Res.

Short and Sweet Advice for Writers – Start in the Middle (In ...

What is In Media Res?

Glad you asked! The term In Media Res translates to “In the midst of things.” This means a story hits the ground running and begins in the middle of a scene. Forget about lengthy exposition or flowery description. Start in the middle a conversation or an action sequence. Later on, you can drip feed readers information and backstory through flashbacks and dialogue.

Why does this trick work? Because it piques the audience’s curiosity. And that’s any writer’s goal, to catch the reader’s interest. It makes them feel like they have to catch up with the plot to learn more about the characters and their world. Think Alice chasing after the white rabbit.

No Context? No Bueno.

Yes, there’s is a wrong way of applying this writing technique. If you start a story too late, and don’t give any bits of context on characters and setting, the audience will be lost and confused. They wont’ keep reading if they have no idea what’s going on.

Be smart about when and where you choose to start the opening scene. You want to hook readers while giving them enough context to keep their attention. A fine line on balance on, I know. However, when you use in media res right, it can turn your story into a page turner.

Stories that Start In Media Res

Want to see this technique in action? Check out some of these attention grabbing titles.


Hope you guys found this post helpful. In media res can be a powerful tool in your writer arsenal. And if done right, you’ll have your readers on the edge of their seats.

What are your favorite stories that jump right into the action? And what do you think of this writing technique? Have you used in media res before? Lemme know in the comments. As always, I’d love to hear from you guys.

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Stay safe and keep writing!

— Lady Jabberwocky

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NaNoWriMo 2019: Week Two

Hello, hello Writer Bugs.

I can’t believe we’re halfway through November already. Progress has been made. Small progress, but progress nonetheless. Better than week one, at least.

At the start of the week, I has some trouble gaining traction. My project is on one giant GoogleDoc, and it’s getting difficult to manage. I finally understand why people use story writing/plot outlining software. So, I decided to write on separate blank doc, and It helped me get past writer’s block and focus on the scenes that don’t have a definite placement in the main story yet.

As of now, I’m closing in on 10,000 words, which I will hopefully reach by the end of this weekend. That would bring up my total to 30,000. Honestly, I’m trying not to worry about word counts. I’ve written everyday this week, (gold star for Lady Jabberwocky), working on my WIP. I’ve been rewriting existing scenes for a better flow. I’ve also been creating new scenes to slow down the pace and shine a spotlight on characters and their relationships. Slowly but surely, I’ve been writing.

And lemme tell you guys, I want to edit SO BAD. I’m sticking to the writing, but man, everything needs edits. I’m still holding out until December to do revisions. Let’s see how that works out. This weekend, my boyfriend and I have a wedding Saturday and a DnD game Sunday. All fun things I’m looking forward to. But I’ll still find some time to write, fingers crossed. Maybe I’ll do some word sprints too.

How’s your NaNoWriMo project going? How are you guys holding up? Also, do you have any suggestions for story writing or outlining software? Leave a comment, I love to hear from you writer bees!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

NaNoWriMo 2019 – The Goal, The Plan, The Anxiety

Hello, hello, writer bees.

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. And although I’m a bit nervous, I accept this intimidating challenge. I wanted to share with you guys my hopes and my game plan for National Novel Writing Month.

The Goal

Okay. My goal isn’t the traditional 50k in November. Currently, my draft is hovering around 20,000 words. And it’s looking pretty rough. It’s a rough rough draft. So for NaNoWriMo 2019, my word count goal is 40,000 words, making for a total of 60,000 words.

Frankly, my real goal is to write more often. Daily, if possible. Even if it’s just small increments everyday. Unfortunately, my WIP has been simmering on the back burner for too long. I want my humble little draft to take one step closer to becoming a full fledged manuscript. That’s how I want to finish NaNoWriMo this year.

Planning and Prepping

So, considering my goal, I figure that averages about 10,000 words a week. That’s possible, right? The skeleton of the story is there, scenes just need to be bumped up or added. I’m working on an outline as I write this post, but am open to new ideas that come along during the writing process. I guess that makes me a plantser? Half planning, half “winging it”. Hopefully, I can scrape something together before November starts.

Part of my prepping involves looking back at my previous NaNoWriMo experience. Learning from past mistakes. Taking my own advice. I acknowledge my weak points as a writer and I’m trying to push through them. Like writing without editing or deleting scares me. That’s one obstacle I’ve struggled to jump over.

Right now, I’m stressing a bit and waiting for the NaNoWriMo excitement to fully kick in. Imagine that nervous feeling before jumping off the high diving board. That’s how I’m feeling at the moment. What if I run out of ideas and my writing fizzles out? And maybe it’s just me, but it seems like everyone else is having fun prepping with their neat, organized outlines and I’m over here with my ugly baby of a draft. Seriously? However, I’m working on staying optimistic. Perhaps we can polish up this draft, it’s worth a shot.

What’s Happening on Lady Jabberwocky?

Glad you asked! During this November, I will be posting weekly updates on Fridays/Saturdays. That way, you all can follow my NaNoWriMo adventure. I really do want to put in the effort this year. So, I hope you guys come along for the NaNoWriMo ride with me.

Thank you guys for your support and lovely comments. Best of luck to all those participating in National Novel Writing Month.

Lady Jabberwocky

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The Secrets Behind Creating a Memorable Detective Character

Hello Writer Bees!

At the center of any great murder mystery is a great detective. Whether they are an amateur sleuth, a private inspector or a member of law enforcement, this is the character, or team, that is the heart of any whodunit. Let’s talk about the behind the scenes secrets to creating a detective character.

Be Inspired By Classic Detectives

Buster Keaton in Sherlock Junior (1924)

Before you dive right into character creation, consider the fictional detectives from classic murder mysteries. Right off the bat, we think of notable inspectors like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Of course, there are many more sleuths in detective fiction, explore and read as much as you can. Diversity is crucial in this research. Once you’ve read a bunch of different mysteries, focus in on a few characters. What stands out with them? What about them catches your attention as a reader? Really think about makes those characters memorable. Be inspired by the characters and artists that came before you. Then, put your own twist on the conventional detective and be original.

What’s in a Name?

You gotta admit, some detectives out have some pretty unique names. The kind of names that turn heads, and draw people in. No, this does not mean you must frivolously choose the most ridiculous name you can think of. Be mindful about the character’s name. Feel free to play around with uncommon names. Ever heard of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson? There’s a reason those names stick in our minds.

Image result for poirot gif

If you are a loyal follower of the Lady Jabberwocky blog, you’ll know that I am currently deliberating over names for my detective. I’m considering where he is from and what sounds easy on the ears. Since he will be the main character, his name must resonate the reader in some way.

Method to the Madness

Image result for detective poirot order quote method

Next, let’s talk about method, how the detective works. Do they use brute force and bust heads to gather information? Or do they inspect for clues with a magnifying class? Or is there a special ability at work? Whatever the case, there must be a rhyme and reason to every action during their investigation. However, it’s more than just method. It’s how they navigate the world and how they interact with other people. What’s their relationship with their sidekick? How do they interrogate suspects? Really take a walk in their shoes.

The Need to Investigate

Not only should you consider how they investigate, but why they investigate. Why are they inspectors? Why does the detective solve cases? Behind every sleuth lies their motivation, the drive that compels them to unravel mysteries. Are whodunits just big puzzles for them? Or do they have a high moral values? Or are they personally connected to the crime in some way? Explore the reason why your character is in this business, or at least in a position to investigate and find the culprit.

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Plus, this would be a good time to think about a catchphrase. A bit cheesy but some characters do well with a tagline. For my main character, he lives by the idea that “Life should end in a period, not a question mark.” A personal philosophy like this one can highlight one’s motive and goal, and help the reader understand the character better.

Quirks and Odd Habits

It’s those little idiosyncrasies that make a character realistic. Detectives should be eccentric, odd balls. They should have quirks and peculiar traits, like something is a little off about them. Yes, Poirot is a genius, but what makes him memorable is his need for order and precision. Does your inspector have any odd habits when in thought? If you think about it, we all have our strange quirks. For this character, dial those traits up a notch, to be extra weird and interesting. Frankly, they should be borderline alien.

Image result for columbo gif

Wrapping Up May Of Mystery

When creating a sleuth, every decision must be a conscious, specific one. Be mindful of their name, how they work, and what odd traits define them. Think of a detective as another breed of fictional character. Trust me, the world does not need more carbon copies of Holmes.

The case is officially closed. With this post, May of Mystery comes to an end. It really was a fun month, writer bees. Hope you all learned something about detective fiction. What genre themed month should I do next? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Also, I just want to take a minute to proclaim my undying appreciation for my first patron, Mister Michael from NY. I love you to the moon and back. Check out my Patreon and help support me and this blog. Every little bit helps. Thanks everyone!

Write with heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

3 Tips on Writing the Twistiest of Plot Twists

Hello Writer Bugs!

Need to shake up your story? Send your readers on a wild rollercoaster ride with a good ol’ fashioned plot twist. That’s right, kiddos, in the spirit of MayOf Mystery, we are going to talk about plot twists. Think about it. Every great mystery story has at least one plot twist that leaves the audience gasping in surprise and shock. Let’s break down some tips and tricks to incorporate plot twists into your stories.

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Foreshadowing is Everything

Dropping breadcrumbs of information is crucial. Basically, foreshadowing is about dropping small clues in the beginning that become something much bigger later on. Hand your character one clue and have that piece of information develop into something else. In terms of a mystery, the briefest mention could turn into a crucial piece of evidence. How does this handkerchief left at the crime scene tie to the murderer?

If done right, the reader can reread the story and pinpoint the clues hinting the big reveal. However, be careful of foreshadowing too much, making a surprise reveal predictable. If that happens, consider deleting some of the hints, so your plot twist is more of a shock.

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Redirect with Red Herrings

For good measure, toss a couple of Red Herrings into the pot. What is a red herring, you ask? By definition, it is a phrase that means “something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.” Think of it like giving the reader a wrong answer, which in turn, leads them to a false assumption. A piece of info that sets them on a path to nowhere. Redirect their attention and keep them guessing.

For a mystery, have the detective follow evidence they believe is true. Then, turn the tables on your own characters and have them react to the evidence being false. A dead end, so to speak.

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Eliminate the Obvious

Not sure what kind of plot twist can be added to your story? Try brainstorming a list of every possible, obvious thing that could happen. Then, throw that list away. Plot twists should come out of left field and be completely unexpected. There’s no fun in a predictable plot twist.

Make the reader, and the characters feel certain about something. “This is definitely the murder weapon. This was how the victim was killed.” If you assure them that there is only one possibility, them tricking them will be easier. When things aren’t as they appeared to be, that’s when heads start to spin.

Plot Twists as a Plot Device

A moment of surprise in your story can be a powerful tool for any writer. Trust me, there is nothing more satisfying for a author than pulling the rug out from under the reader. Just grabbing their assumptions and flipping them upside down. All in all, be aware of the clues you choose to show your reader, and wait for the right moment to make your big reveal. That is the key to any plot twist.

Talk to me, Writer Bees

What are your favorite plot twists in fiction? And what’s one surprise reveal you’ve written in your stories? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you guys.

May the plot twists you write be extra twisty.

Write with Heart,

Jabberwocky