Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing

Shock vs. Subverted Expectations


Story Empire

literary twist (gears in the mind)

Ciao, SEers! The last two times I chatted with you, we were talking about clichés in fiction, namely in horror and in mystery and sci-fi. After revealing potential solutions, we discussed the fact that the common element in the solutions was that they all subverted the readers’ expectations.

Today, I want to discuss the difference between shocking the reader and subverting their expectations.

Shock for shock’s sake, unless you’re going for a gore-factor in horror, isn’t a good thing. (Even then, that’s not necessarily a good thing.) You might get the reader to gasp and recoil, but you also might make them put your book down and walk away. Shock shouldn’t disgust or irritate or frustrate. There needs to be a purpose and intent behind everything you do. There should be breadcrumbs leading to every reveal, and when the moment happens, the wow-factor shouldn’t be negative.

Hence the…

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Author: jowensauthor

I'm a geeky, animal/cat-loving author of Fantasy and YA Fiction. I'm a supporter of animal charities such as the WWF. I'm also a fan of anime and sci-fi/fantasy. I'm an avid reader as well, and enjoy mainly reading fantasies, mysteries, and books about animals. I have a B.A. in History with a minor in English. I also dabble in making jewelry, reading tarot, and am interested in the paranormal. You can find out more about me and my various books and writings at my website: You can also find me on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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