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Plot Twist Ideas for Writers

Plot Twist Ideas

The execution and fitment into narrative decides on the effectiveness of a plot twist ideas– hence it shall be an intelligent move to use these ideas as inspiration and adapt them in the way they suit the characters and story. A writer has a wide range of options to select from and adopt in his story to give a twist in the plot. The author may use an Unexpected Ally– who is initially perceived as an antagonist or a minor character but with a sudden revelation, the readers come to know that he is a powerful ally to the protagonist, helping them in inquest or in winning over a major obstacle. The character of Snape in Harry Potter stories is a typical example of being an Unexpected Ally. He may use The Hidden Identity where main character suddenly discover that he has been living with a false identity and his entire life has been a carefully constructed lie. They must unravel the truth and navigate the consequences of their real identity. Harry Potter lived with her Aunt Petunia at 4 Privet Drive of Surrey and was told his parents died in an accident as a normal citizen till one day when he came to know he belonged to a wizard family and his parents were murdered. Character Betrayal is another twist that the writer may use as a twist- where a trusted companion or friend of the protagonist turns out to be a traitor, working against them the entire time. The revelation leads to a significant shift in alliances and forces the protagonist to re-evaluate their beliefs and loyalties. Peter Pettigrew was one of the best friends of James Potter who later joined hands with his enemy and was instrumental in his murder. Time Loop is a twist where the protagonist realizes that they have been trapped in a time loop, reliving the same events repeatedly where the endeavour is to figure out how to break free from the loop and alter the course of events. Rowling used this twist in favour of Harry Potter to save his godfather. An Unreliable Narrator is used as twist when the story is narrated from the perspective of a character who turns out to be unreliable, intentionally distorting or omitting key information and this twist challenges the reader’s perception of events and forces them to re-evaluate the entire narrative. Use of Parallel Universe is done by the author when the protagonist discovers the existence of a parallel universe where events have unfolded differently and the protagonist navigates between the two worlds, making difficult choices that impact both realities. Diagon Alley, Hogwarts vis-à-vis 4 Privet Drive of Surrey are typical example of parallel universe. The Supernatural Revelation twist brings a twist through which a seemingly ordinary world is revealed to have supernatural or magical elements, shifting the genre of the story, and introducing new challenges and possibilities. Harry Potter was oblivious about world of magic till suddenly one day he came to know of his lineage.

Author uses Artificial Intelligence for twist as well where a character believed to be human is revealed to be an advanced artificial intelligence or a robot, thereby raising questions about identity, consciousness, and the nature of humanity. The Prophecy Misinterpretation twists are when prophecy that has guided the characters throughout the story is revealed to have been misinterpreted all along, leading to unexpected consequences and a new understanding of the true meaning behind the prophecy. Prophecies in Goblet of Fire of Rowling are typical examples. The Sacrifice twists are used when a character willingly sacrifices themselves to save others, only to later discover that their sacrifice was unnecessary or in vain. This twist challenges the notion of heroism and explores the complexities of selflessness. Death of Sirius Black is a genuine example of this type of twist.

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Plot Twist Example

0f the countless twists that are in fictions, these are few of them that keep readers and viewers on their toes, challenging their assumptions and adding excitement to the story.

  • In the book “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, the novel takes a surprising turn when it is revealed that the seemingly perfect wife, Amy Dunne, staged her own disappearance and framed her husband for her murder. The twist exposes the dark and manipulative nature of the character, subverting the reader’s expectations.
  • In the book “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk, the plot twist unveils that the narrator and the charismatic Tyler Durden are the same person. The revelation challenges the audience’s understanding of the story, blurring the line between reality and the protagonist’s dissociative identity disorder.
  • In the book “The Prestige”, the story is about rival magicians taking an unexpected turn when it is revealed that one of the protagonists has been using a double to perform his magic tricks. The twist adds a layer of complexity to the narrative and explores themes of identity and sacrifice.

Unexpected revelation

Books have a remarkable ability to surprise and captivate readers with unexpected revelations. Here are a few examples of such revelations from different genres and time periods on how authors can surprise readers by introducing unexpected plot twists and revelations challenging their assumptions keeping them engaged throughout the story.

  • In the psychological thriller “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, the story follows the disappearance of Amy Dunne and the suspicion falling on her husband, Nick. The unexpected revelation comes midway through the book when it is revealed that Amy faked her own disappearance as part of an elaborate plan to incriminate Nick.
  • K. Rowling, in her sixth book of the Harry Potter series- “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” shocked the readers by the revelation of Severus Snape’s true allegiance. Throughout the series, Snape is portrayed as a villainous character, but it is revealed that he had been working undercover for the Order of the Phoenix and was loyal to Dumbledore.
  • Peter Lerangis in his young adult horror series follows a group of teenagers possessing special powers, writes in “The Sixth Sense” about the unexpected revelation that comes when the main character, Max, discovers that he is not a human, but a hybrid of human and angelic bloodline, which explains his extraordinary abilities.
  • In the gripping thriller “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson, there is an unexpected revelation revolving around the disappearance of Harriet Vanger and when journalist Mikael Blomkvist delves into the case, he uncovers a shocking truth about a series of murders that have remained hidden for decades.
  • In the dystopian novel “1984” by George Orwell, there is an unexpected revelation that occurs near the end when the protagonist, Winston Smith, is captured and tortured by the Party. In a surprise ending, he eventually comes to realize that the rebel leader, O’Brien, whom he believed to be a fellow dissenter, is actually a loyal member of the Party, breaking Winston’s spirit completely.