After watching an epic movie that left you in awe, you feel satisfied don’t you? That extra punch of excitement you feel when the plot suddenly changes and the story spins on its head is why you paid for the cinema ticket in the first place. But after watching a bland film, you come out of the theatre feeling cheated. You feel like you’ve wasted a couple of hours of your lives on something you’d rather forget.
That’s how readers feel after reading a through several hundred pages expecting to run into a non-existent revelation. The plots builds and builds, characters play out their parts perfectly, but sadly there’s no aha! moment in the entire novel. They feel cheated.
Coming Up With Killer Plot Twists
If you want your next novel to be a delicious ride of excitement, anticipation, and thrills worth of a bungee jump, you need to spice up your plot with some significant revelation. Structure the story so that a revelation hits the reader when he least expects it. When the reader thinks there can’t be anything else, boom! Hit them with another revelation. Here’s how you pull the rug under your reader’s feet.
1. Do Away with The Obvious
When you are coming up with a climax to your novel, or for an episode, discard everything that comes to your mind. If you think the protagonist should do A, B, or C to get out of a sticky situation, throw those options out the window. Then think of other possible solutions. Throw these into the trash bin.
You’re trying to come up with a fitting climax, and it shouldn’t be obvious to the reader. What you can come up with at a moment’s notice, expect hundreds of readers to see it coming from a mile away. Your climax, and ending, must be complete surprise. You want your readers to go, Wow! I never saw that coming and other writers to think Why didn’t I think of that?
As a rule of the thumb, the harder the conflict or challenge the protagonist has to overcome, the easier and more believable the climax (ending) needs to be.
2. Mislead the Reader
When you’re writing down the story, constantly ask yourself what the reader expects or hopes for at that particular moment. During the heat of the action, offhandedly mention some useful information. Use red herrings, bury clues where the reader wouldn’t expect, and lead them down a dead end. They love that kind of stuff.
With these two props, you can make a killer plot twist whenever you want.