Readers love a good plot twist, (the more shocking – the better). As writers we not only want to entertain our readers, sometimes we do want to shock them – to throw in a plot twist that they won’t see coming. Many best-selling books have pretty epic plot twists, (Gone Girl, All the Missing Girls & many more). If you’re a writer and you’re looking to add some interesting, out-of-left-field plot twists to your novel or story, here are some great plot twist ideas:
1. “They were never really dead.”
Say one of your characters is presumed dead in your story. If it can make sense in regards to where the story has progressed – bring back a dead character that will really shake up the plot of your story.
This can be done a lot of ways, depending on what kind of story you’re writing. There could be a supernatural element to it, a person who faked their own death, or just a character that everyone else thought for sure was dead. It’s a classic plot twist, that, when done correctly can be truly thrilling for your reader.
2. “Death out of the blue”
George R. R. Martin really nails this plot twist (countless,brutal times), in the series “A song of Ice and Fire.” You create a character that appears to be a main character – or one seemingly essential to the plot & then BOOM – you kill them.
I know, it sounds brutal but it’s an excellent plot twist & great for shock value.
3. “Ally has been an enemy all along”
So you have your protagonists and they have people in their “circle” AKA people who are close to them. What if one your protagonist’s main friends/allies throughout the story was really an enemy the entire time. This can be a great, shocking plot twist to toss into a story.
4. “The Town Crazy was right all along”
This would work well specifically with supernatural/fantasy stories. Say you have a character that is always telling people some outlandish story of something they know or have seen and nobody believes them. The huge twist: the supposed crazy person was right all along.
5. “They were together all along”
This could be used in a few different ways as a fantastic plot twist. Here are some ideas:
- 2 characters (that nobody suspected) have been sleeping together the entire time.
- Two enemies are really allies.
- The seemingly nice man or woman IS having a secret affair.
Putting two characters in “cahoots” with each other, that no one suspected, can make for a truly shocking plot twist.
6. “None of it was Real”
This plot twist occurs a lot in psychological thrillers. Take a seemingly mentally stable character who is experiencing something impossible. The Twist: None of what they experienced was real due to any of the following:
- They’re mentally ill
- They had been drugged
- It had all been a dream
- It was an experience while in a coma
7. “The Double-Cross”
This is one of my favorite plot twists. In real life, (especially on Investigation Discovery true crime stories), people are always double-crossing each other out of nowhere. This plot twist works so well because it happens so often in real life. Have a character secretly double-cross the other and don’t reveal it right away. Bonus Plot Twist if multiple characters have double-crossed each other throughout the entire plot.
8. “It was a Frame Job”
Have you got a really seemingly guilty character in your story? What if they are telling the truth and it was all a set-up? This can make for an epic plot twist. Example: A man is on death row for a series of murders, when similar murders begin occurring. It turns out – he was innocent the entire time.
Creating an elaborate “frame job” within a story can be tricky, but it done right – it’s one hell of an epic plot twist.
9. “Mistaken Identity”
What if one of your characters is assumed to be someone who they truly aren’t? And, what if they go along with that assumption? You could allow the reader to believe your character is, in fact, the person they are assumed to be until you reveal that they aren’t. It’s a nifty little plot twist idea.
Some Tips for adding Plot Twists:
Try your best to ensure that the plot twist is organic and fits into the story. It has to make sense, or it simply doesn’t work.
Hide your villains in plain sight. Have your characters do things behind your other characters’ backs. Create shocking plot twists that WOW your readers.
The best plot twists are the most unexpected ones; like killing off a character when it’s assumed by the reader that they are “unkillable.”
Plot twists are great for every genre and there are many ways you can get creative with the 9 I mentioned. Have fun writing, fellow scribes and don’t be afraid to really go for it! Write the type of content, you, as a reader love. Good Luck in your writing pursuits!
Please share and if you have any other epic plot twist ideas, let me know in the comments.
Write on! 🙂