How Important Is A Plot Twist?

I’m beginning to find it more difficult to find books that shock, scare or surprise me, one of my priorities when choosing what to read. I love trying to guess endings and I’m always happiest when I fail to do so.

I agree with the notion that when a book announces a twist, shocking revelation or surprise ending they’ve already eliminated those exact qualities.
We’re prepared for what’s to come and immediately start picking up on any hints and red herrings subconsciously, if not on purpose.

However, there needs to be connections to the end result earlier in the book to make them feasible. When a surprise comes straight out of left field and has no build up it feels lazy and sometimes makes no sense at all.
It’s a very nuanced art and (I assume) extremely difficult to balance the right amount of direction without paving the way to an obvious conclusion.

Often I’ll see reviewers rave about how they ‘never saw it coming’ and secretly roll my eyes, but I’ve also been amazed by revelations other readers had easily predicted.

For me a plot twist is a major factor in any suspense, crime or thriller novel. Done wrong it can leave me indifferent to the books other redeeming qualities. Done right it can rocket a mediocre read to much higher standing.

How do you feel about plot twists?

Do you have any good examples I should read?

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

3 thoughts on “How Important Is A Plot Twist?”

  1. A huge fan of books and movies with a plot twist. I remember trudging through Life of Pi and wondering where this fantastical book was going when the plot twist was slipped in and I was blown away. It has been my favourite since then . I quite liked We are liars too. It was easy to read and looking back, the clues were all over the place.

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