Monday, February 4, 2019

When Life Throws a Plot Twist

Not what you expected? I'd think not when you're visiting Paranormal Romantics. Even if I liked the picture and really wanted to stick it on the blog, or add a random gorilla or monkey to my story and try to call it a 'plot twist', it would have to make sense. Readers are meticulous like that—at least I am. 

An author shouldn't have the story doesn’t take a drastic turn that doesn’t mesh. Or wrap it up just for the sake of ending the story with a, “they all lived happily ever after...maybe with a gorilla...” thrown in rather than work to tie up loose ends.

Most people don’t like change, or the unexpected, in their life. We’re creatures of habit and routine. Perhaps that’s why we love them so much in a book, or at least I do. It’s a way that we can live vicariously through a character and get excited about this sudden turn in events. It’s certainly more comfortable to dissect in a character than oneself. 

Plot Twist Straight Ahead

I still recall watching the movie, The Sixth Sense, many years ago. I never saw the plot twist coming. The way it was effortlessly merged into the movie was impressive. (I won’t reveal it here, just in case someone hasn’t seen the movie.) But once the twist was revealed, I could think back through the movie and it made sense. The clues were there, if you knew to look for them. 

Most recently I was impressed with the twists skillfully incorporated into the Netflix series version of The Haunting of Hill House. (Also—no spoilers here.)

Seamless Storytelling

It takes talent to incorporate an upcoming twist seamlessly through a story, especially in a book. Sometimes it’s a little more challenging to incorporate these into a story since you lose the visual in a movie. I’ve become especially adept at noticing these ‘red herrings’ (otherwise known as clues) in a movie. 

Unfortunately for my hubby, I tend to point them out. Then when the twist occurs, it’s only to validate what I already saw coming. 

Often the author starts right when everything changes and the character must face a new normal in their life, even if they don’t want to. As readers, we’re dropped right into the action and go along on the journey as the character figures out what’s next. That’s usually what I like to write, and to read. 

Destiny Calling 

The story of Destiny Calling started not long after Hope faced a terrible twist in her life. We get to go along as she discovers that there’s more to the world than she realized, and that she plays a role. 

Everybody Loves a Grandma

In Grandma Must Die we start off already aware of the magic that exists in the world, but we must help our heroine deal with another dilemma. 

Enough of the Everyday

Any story can start with the things we do every day, but usually that’s not what we’re looking for. We're already living that story. To have a story, there’s usually a twist, or a dilemma, that needs addressed, otherwise it’s just more of the same. 

Many of us would like it if our own problems were solved so easily. But that’s us. We want to see our characters’ work for their success and a happily ever after.

Can You Name a Book, or a Movie, with an Awesome Plot Twist?

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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Diane Burton said...

I love a good plot twist in movies and books. Like you, Maureen, I point out the clues and Hubs groans. The movie Taking of Pelham 123 (John Travolta and Denzel Washington) was so disappointing because it did NOT have a twist. I couldn't believe it. Can't please everybody, I guess.

Maureen said...

I haven't seen that movie yet- now I know not to worry, lol. Thanks for stopping by Diane!

Alicia Dean said...

I love a good twist, and yes, The Sixth Sense had an excellent one. I immediately wanted to watch it again! :D I wish I was better at writing twists. Great blog post...I enjoyed it.