In this week’s column, I thought I’d look at tips and advice on writing killer plot twists. Most readers think crime and thriller when they think of plot twists, but in fact they can be used in most genres. There are some techniques that you can use and the links I’ve chosen all offer excellent tips and advice for writing plot twists that work.
- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/tips-for-writing-a-killer-plot-twist – 5 Tips for Writing a Killer Plot Twist: This article is from MasterClass and it looks at what plot twists are, the 6 different types of plot twists you can use, 6 examples of plot twists, why they are important in stories, and 5 tips for writing a good plot twist. Plot twists can be summarised as changes in your story and when properly done they surprise the reader. The examples in this article are excellent and include films like The Sixth Sense which had a fantastic plot twist at the end. This article finishes with 5 tips for plot twists and includes the very important tip of making sure the plot twist is earned.
- https://nerdknowslife.com/2018/07/20/9-plot-twist-ideas-for-writers/ – 9 Plot Twist Ideas for Writers: Readers love well-crafted plot twists and this article looks at 9 plot twist ideas you can use in your stories. This includes bringing back a character readers believed was dead, killing off a main character, the ally being the enemy all along, none of it was real, the double-cross, and mistaken identity. All of these are explained with examples and this is then followed by some tips that you can use to add your own plot twists to your story.
- https://prowritingaid.com/art/602/How-to-Write-a-Mind-Blowing-Plot-Twist-Like-Gone-Girl.aspx – How to Write a Plot Twist That is as Good as Gone Girl: This is a great article that looks at a number of different elements including when you shouldn’t write a plot twist, the three types of plot twists, how to twist reader’s assumptions, and tips for creating great plot twists. The three types of plot twist this article looks at are, clever, revealing, and shocking and there is an explanation and example for each. The tips included in this article are excellent and offer plenty of advice that you can use for any story. There is also a section on ensuring that you don’t sacrifice your own story just to add a plot twist.
- https://writinglikeaboss.com/even-more-plot-twist-ideas: Plot Twist ideas to Shock Your Reader: This is a list of plot twist ideas that you can use in your stories. They include things like killing someone offer, starting a war or revolution, taking away the object crucial for your MC’s success, a disappearing character, applying Murphy’s Law, give one character a secret, make a character ill, and more. Each idea is explained so you can pick and choose what type of twist will work for your story.
- https://artofnarrative.com/2019/12/28/how-to-write-a-plot-twist/ – How to Write a Plot Twist: This article offers 7 tips for writing plot twists for a story, screenplay, or novel. It begins by discussing what a plot twist is and offers a great explanation. There is also a section on what a plot twist isn’t which is also excellent. This is then followed by tips on creating a good plot twist. These include creating a cause for your twist, using a hidden character to set things up, foreshadowing, misdirection, concealing your clues, using an unreliable narrator, dual or hidden motivations, and more. The end of the article contains a list of novels and films with great plot twists that you can explore and there’s a link to a plot twist generator if you want to have a little fun.
- https://thewritepractice.com/twist-ending/ – How to Write a Brilliant Twist Ending: This article begins with a section on the wrong kind of twist and how a twist must work properly and be related to a major choice made by the protagonist. The next section looks at the right kind of plot twist and provides some great examples for this. The next section is how to write a great plot twist ending in three steps. This includes planning the choices your characters will make and experimenting with different outcomes. The second step discusses secrets and how writing different versions of your scenes can be helpful. The third step in creating a brilliant plot twist is waiting for the perfect moment to use it. There’s quite a lot of information in this article and I recommend setting aside some time to read it and do the practice exercise at the end.
- https://nicholasrossis.me/2020/12/09/5-crucial-tips-for-writing-plot-twists/ – 5 Crucial Tips for Writing Plot Twists: The final link for this week offer 5 excellent tips for successful plot twists. The first of these tips is to deploy your twist wisely and to remember that your plot twist is only as strong as the rest of your story. The second tip is to remember that the plot twist is part of a whole and that you ensure your pre-twist plot is justifiable. The third tips suggests using readers’ expectations against them and there is a great explanation for this. Tip 4 is to make sure your plot twist has consequences, and tip 5 is to get an outside opinion from beta readers to make sure your plot twist works. This article offers a great deal of advice in just 5 tips and is one worth reading.
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the links this week and now have the information you need to use and develop brilliant plot twist for your stories. If there is a topic you’d like to see me cover, all you need to do is get in touch with me via any of my social media links.
(c) Amanda J Evans