Growing up, I had three favorite soap operas: All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital. Despite the outrageous storylines and the various character changes, there was one thing that held my attention all those years:
the plot twist
In a soap opera, a character that was killed off years ago reappears. You thought he died in a car crash but wait, he was in a coma. When he woke up, he spent years not knowing what happened and lived his life two towns over. One day, he gets his memory back and goes home to see his pre-crash love interest, who’s now married to his mortal enemy.
When I’m writing a story, two things come to mind:
- The plot twist needs to make sense.
- The plot twist doesn’t need to be outrageous.
The plot twist needs to make sense.
It’s easy for me to get carried away when I’m brainstorming a plot twist. It needs to flow with the story as a whole. Sometimes, the plot twist isn’t part of the original storyline. In those instances, I have to rewrite parts of the in order to maintain the story’s flow.
The plot twist doesn’t need to be outrageous.
In my opinion, story writing gets difficult when I make things more difficult than need be. If the plot twist doesn’t make sense, readers may lose interest in the story. It’s very possible to have a simple plot twist that packs a punch.
The plot twist should complement the storyline. It should get the reader excited about what’s happening next. It should entice the reader to go back and see if there were clues that the plot twist was coming.
What are your thoughts on plot twists? Yay? Nay? Eh?