What do you think first while formulating a story? Let me guess:
1. You first think about a theme.
2. Then you think about your characters.
3. Next you think about an awesome ending, or a thrilling twist.
4. You now think about title of your story.
and so on…so forth.
In most of the stories that I have read in recent anthologies; there is a struggle for an interesting twist or plot, or, some stories have twists or ending that have been forcefully inserted. Now this doesn’t have to be the case for every story. If you have a fair story which doesn’t lead to a twisting end naturally; don’t worry, your plot is still good.
Let me tell you a truth: Many authors try to hide their incompleteness of writing ability by introducing interesting twists and turns. And they think readers will ignore the writing style and concentrate on the twist.
In many cases, this is true. Readers do love twists. But when your story includes them forcefully it feels very sick. Any good perfume has three levels of smell:
1. Extrinsic perception: It is the perception of smell the moment you apply the perfume.
2. Middle taste: After the strong smell is gone there will be a semi-light scent exciting your nostril.
3. Intrinsic perception: It is core or innermost layer of scent that lingers hours after applying the scent.
Why am I talking about scent?
Because stories have similarity with a good perfume.
Your major twists are the extrinsic perception. Things that readers immediately notice.
Your theme and characters are middle taste.
And your narrating style or use of language is the intrinsic perception.
A story having bad narration and good twists will be hard-hitting but wouldn’t last long. But a story having beautiful narration lingers in reader’s mind even long after reading the story. The story will last long. People will read your story again and again.
To kill a mockingbird is a classic example of having all the above components. That’s why it will be immortal. Ulysses by James Joyce doesn’t have any plot. But it will be remembered as the bible of modern literature solely due to its ground breaking narration. Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf is also a classic example of beautiful narration. Also I have seen that to many writers, a well narrated story means it will have to have unpronounceable words which will only contribute in distracting an average reader.
To conclude, your predictive plot will become a heart winner only if you have that power of language. And all the musings above are my own. My view may differ from yours. But whatever your view is, you must keep writing and do experiments with your style.