What Is A Plot Twist?
As you write your story, look for unexpected ways to fill in the plot. These are commonly known as the ‘What If’ scenarios of fiction writing. They throw in something the reader isn’t expecting to happen in the story to add conflict, drama and adventure. Go back to your premise sentence and see where you can spice things up a little. Keep your readers guessing.
What’s expected and what would happen if it didn’t turn out that way?
Write a sentence about something in your novel your reader will expect to happen.
Now write a What If.
What if that didn’t happen at all? What would happen then?
Now turn that idea upside-down.
What if this other thing happened instead? How would the story unfold then?
Example of a great plot twist
In her poignant novel, Rescued, Donna Fawcett (Dawson) writes about two women;
“Charlene McTaggart can’t conceive and badly wants a child. Dr Jason Steadman goes against those who would do all they can to stop a unique procedure from being performed. A procedure that will save an embryo, prevent a death and give an infertile woman a chance at motherhood”. (back cover logline)
Then Fawcett asks these questions:
“What if there was a solution to abortion?”
“What if pro-life and pro-choice could join forces to see the war over the issue end?”
“Is it possible?”
The answers to these questions fuel a powerful and emotional novel which touches the heart of the reader.
What If Your Story Just Got Really Weird?
Readers crave a plot twist to keep them interested. What can you add that they may not have been written before? Write as many plot twists as you can think of. Try these exercises to get your inner Tolkien flowing:
- It’s expected that the villain will be arrested. What if he suddenly vanishes?
- It’s expected that the rain shower will stop. What if it turns into a red storm?
- It’s expected that the hero will get the girl. What if she doesn’t like him one bit?
Will this plot twist change your logline? Your logline can change to accommodate your developing story as long as you remain true to your premise. Remember, your back cover isn’t published yet.
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His own image.