Hi, welcome to the fourth Penable writing course on writing a book and if you’ve joined us from the start, you’re probably nearly there. We planned out our stories, wrote the start, described some characters, created some settings and now we are ready for the next step: Planting the twists
Everybody loves twists. When you think something is going to happen but something more exciting and interesting happens instead. Like a character dies and then they’re actually alive! (We’ve all heard that one before!)
Harry Potter thinks that his potions teacher, Snape is evil and working for Lord Voldemort. But later on in the series, he discovers that Snape is actually good. And is trying to protect Harry. That’s a twist.
Make your story twists interesting, make your reader scream with disbelief when they find out the real villain, who has been close to your main character all along!
Here are some plot twist ideas to get the ink in you flowing:
- Someone important to the action is poisoned 😵😑
- The only person your main character can trust right now is a con man….
- Someone from the characters past, shows up out of the blue, intent on revenge!
- If you haven’t killed off a minor character yet… do it. If you have killed one, try resurrecting him, one way or another.
- A character who believes he has nothing special about him learns that he is actually royalty or has super powers
- It’s all a dream!
- It’s all an illusion!
But how do I sew in the twist from the beginning then reveal it later in the story?
- Use subtle misdirections
- Use even subtler foreshadowing
- Let your characters create the plot twists
- Make sure your twist is believable and makes sense
- Disguise a plot twist within a plot twist
- Create a subplot that means even more than your readers think…
In aanother story that I am writing, set in Tarbert, Scotland, it is about a 14 year old girl who is trying to discover the identities of a group of five dangerous people who call themselves The Lily Of The Valley and use poison to murder people. In the end, the reader discovers that the first letter of each word of The Lily Of The Valley stands for each persons name. Then Victoria, the fourteen year old girl who is telling the story reveals that she is part of the gang and stands for Valley. Wowwww! That’s a plot twist! She leads the officers in the wrong direction and it turns out she’s actually working for the gang!
Be creative and make the twist surprising for your readers, you can have as many twists as you like! Bury the twist so deep into your book so when you reveal it, your audience feels shocked.
Loads of authors use these thrilling techniques:
- Almost kill off a really important character
- Just when things are getting better, create a natural disaster!
- Reveal or give a hint of a traitor, someone that no one suspects…
- Your main character quits their mission!
- Take away the object crucial to your characters success
- An important person to the action falls ill. Will they live?
No one knows….
The twists I like best are the traitors who are the least people you will suspect!
Here’s how to do it:
- First plant the traitor as someone really close to the main character, like a parent’s friend or a neighbour or even someone who your main character goes for help.
- Make that traitor vulnerable. That way no one will suspect. Make the traitor have a fake limp or pretend to be sick 🤒 or old.
- Or you could make the traitor the best buddy of your main character….
- As the story goes on, discreetly and slowly put the traitor nearer to your main character without the reader noticing
- Put the traitor at the scene of crime or near to trouble that they caused. Again, do this discreetly as possible.
- Pretend a villain is hunting that traitor in Disguise down. Let your main character protect the traitor in disguise, see how the traitor is getting closer?
- Reveal the traitor suddenly at a time the reader least thinks of. Ta da!
So make it really interesting for your readers, jot down many twists, plant them now and reveal them later!
Thank you so much for joining us with this course, I do hope you enjoyed it, learned something and I also hoped I helped you on your next step to writing a book.
Homework: (you didn’t think you would go without it, did you?) I want to hear at least three plot twists and your ideas as well as the traitor of your story and how they reveal themselves.
Thanks once again and I will see you tomorrow for the next course of writing a book with Penable: