Writing is a complicated, and exhilarating, process. Few devices showcase that like a good plot twist. Especially a jaw-hits-the-floor plot twist.
** spoiler alert **
If you've seen these words, you know the respect most reviewers and journalists have for an amazing plot twist. Usually, they will be as vague as possible to avoid ruining the surprise. When it's necessary to expose the twist, most will include the spoiler warning to honor those readers who don't want to know.
Of all the plot twists I've experienced, none left me as flabbergasted as The Fight Club. Never. Saw. It. Coming. It's one of those great movies where you want to immediately watch it again and figure out how you missed it.
Sure, I was distracted by Brad Pitt's body, but it was more than that. With such an intense and mesmerizing story, I never suspected the ending. That's great storytelling.
The same could be said for The Usual Suspects, one of my favorite movies as listed here. When Kevin Spacey's character walks away at the end, his limp suddenly disappearing, I had chills.
But there's a pitfall with plot twists. You have to sell an amazing story first. Twists for the sake of twists rarely work. There's a huge difference between a reader's jaw dropping and a reader shaking their head.
What's your favorite plot twist in a book or movie? Spoiler alerts encouraged. Just this once. *smiles*
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