Despite my frustration with the seven-part story structure and its ease of use with every other story in the universe besides mine, I have had some breakthrough. It started as a twist, not a twist carefully fashioned and formed after pages and pages of typing at my desk, but a twist formed while I brushed my teeth in the bathroom.
What if, the twist whispered, Callyn set the bomb?
I nearly dropped my toothbrush. Callyn setting the bomb? The idea was unthinkable. But then, I considered, it worked. I already knew that Callyn needed some great reason to be ashamed of herself - this would definitely do that. I already knew that Callyn had ties to the bomb-setting people...
What if, the twist continued to whisper, Callyn was still dating Fagan?
I nearly answered back and told the twist that that was impossible. But was it? I considered. It definitely made things a lot more tricky for Callyn, but that was totally Callyn's problem. And any problems for Callyn are godsends for me. The more problems she can find herself in, the better.
Problems introduce tension. Problems introduce conflict.
But the twist wasn't finished. What if, it whispered, Elizabeth is more than your average "mean girl"? What if she's a spy?
That was pretty much the twist of twists, but again, a few mental shuffles, and it worked perfectly. More than perfectly. This story is coming together.
Ever been whispered to by a twist? Did you listen?