1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    End of plot twists?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dagolas, May 11, 2012.

    Good as a book may be, what always pisses me off is the previsible ends. As I read the 4th or 5th book of Harry Potter (can't remember) I put down the book at the end and immediately told myself "Last Book=Harry vs voldemort=voldemort dies, no plot twists". Or (Please don't spoil it for me, still reading it) Inheritance (which I repeat I AM AT THE PART WHERE HE GOES TO VROENGARD, SO DONT SPOIL IT!), where I can pretty much see that Galbatorix will own Eragon, but Murtagh will kill Galbatorix and redeem himself as he dies. (Return of the Jedi, anyone?) :p

    It's mostly like this in Adventure/Fantasy genres, so predictable.
    Well, enough talking, my question was: "How do you make a non predictable story end without having a secondary character who you see once in the novel kill the bad guy?"
     
  2. Lazy
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  3. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Humph, true. But seriously though, who didn't think Luke would kill Vader? Harry would kill Voldemort?

    A good twist was Romeo and Juliet, not exactly a happy ending.
     
  4. Lazy
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    Star Wars follows very closely Joseph Campbell's idea of "the hero's journey" (deliberately). You seem like you are pretty young so you take Star Wars for granted, but at the time, some of those things were pretty major twists (particularly "no...I am you father").

    As for Harry Potter... well it's a fun kids story about wizards.
     
  5. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Yeah, but then before 6 we all though darth vader was a robot, right?

    "Wait, how did he have... Never mind."
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are natural reversals, adequately prepared, and there are gratuitous twists. The difference? After the former, the reader says to himself, "Of course. I should have realized that before now. It makes perfect sense." After the latter, the reader says, "Huh? What the hell?"

    You don't need to put a twist at the end, and if you have to try, it will show. If you have to throw in a surprise to keep your brain from twitching, make it something small, not a flip in the central plot. A character-based surprise can be effective, like a character deciding she needs to break up with the guy she has been "comfortable" with, with the realization that life is too short and the relationship has been stagnant. Plant the seeds of it throughout the story, so the only surprise is that she actually decided to do something about it other than try to fix it.

    A clumsy attempt at a last minute plot twist can ruin an otherwise good novel.

    Not long ago, I read a murder mystery that revealed the murderer and caught up with him twenty pages before the end. He was murdered just before the protag caught up with him, revealing the TRUE culprit through unmistakable evidence. Caught. BUT WAIT - that wasn't the real killer either! By then it had become laughable, but there was still another twist after that.
     
  7. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    That story sounds similar to an Agatha Christie I read, some kid gets shot but it's not him who is the killer, the killer is the protagonist. That was a little too much.
     
  8. Show
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    A lot of times life can be "predictable." IMO, predictable isn't always bad. Sometimes it's more about the journey than the shock. Mind you, nothing wrong with a genuine good twist. Personally, I just feel that a journey can still head towards a predictable end and be one worth taking all the same.
     
  9. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    In my book, I didn't put a twist in the end. Instead, I put some anti-foreshadowing (might not be the right term for what I did. So by the end, the reader wouldn't be expecting the ending that really had been obvious the entire time.
     
  10. Lazy
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    Red herring?

    Anyway, if your plot is about Good Guy Paragon fighting the Big Bad Dark Lord, there are really only a few ways that you can end it. So if your problem is coming up with an ending that will satisfy your readers without being obvious from the beginning, maybe your plot's premise is the problem. After all, in real life people are not entirely good like Harry or entirely comically evil like Voldemort. Everyone is a different shade of grey.

    I keep mentioning George R.R. Martin in a lot of threads but that's because I honestly think A Song of Ice and Fire is the standard by which all fantasy should be judged. Go read A Game of Thrones.
     
  11. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    It isn't fatally obvious, but I foreshadow a lot about the bad guy (he is good in the beginning in the book) which could potentially make it a bit obvious what the bad guy has to choose when the main choices come up in the end. So I do "red herring" or whatever to almost counter the foreshadowing.'
    By the way, ASOIAF is amazing. It got me into writing.
     
  12. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Honestly, stories don't have to have twists. Some do, others don't. Lord of the Rings had none, and people seem to like it. If you're asking how you can make a plot twist without being obvious, uh, well, you kind of have to figure that out for yourself, as nobody knows your story like you do. Maybe you can have the good guy and bad guy dancing together at the end. I would laugh.
     
  13. louis1
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    there might not be any plot twist but there has to be some twist of some sort, or else you have a linear story. readers can predict the next move every time. that would suck. to me there are ''major plot twists'' which change something fundamental about the story or characters (something M. Night would do) and there are some minor plot twist, that would be anything that is a surprise to the reader but doesn't change the nature of things.

    in my opinion a story has to have at least some minor ''plot twist'' what ever you call them. plot turn or something ahah
    or else I think your story is dead


    as for myself and my own stories I love plot twists. they are everywhere
    always happening, it's almost ridiculus.
    the first one happens in chapter 4 and then by the end, it's plot twist after plot twist.
    some people would say it's laughable, I don't really care. that's how I like it. I think it's good, I think it's believable and I think it would sell.
     
  14. Lazy
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    You should definitely do what you feel is right but be aware that you may be frustrating your readers, and every plot twist lessens the effect of the next.
     
  15. Rumwriter
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    I don't know that you have to have twists so much as choices to keep you readers wondering what's going to happen. Since OP mentioned Harry Potter, I'll stick with that (because it makes a good example):

    In book one, Harry is put under the sorting hat. What as a reader do you think will happen? Do you assume he'll be put in Gryffindor? It's hard to say, but I think there's a good chance most people assume that. But what, for instance, if he'd been placed in Slytherin? Think about how that would've "twisted" the entire story. The reader wants to know what a character will choose, and you can lead the reader into thinking they will choose one thing, and then totally go the opposite direction. And in that sort of instance, I think it makes reading a lot more exciting. It doesn't have to be a

    As far as Harry defeating Voldemort goes...I mean, I'm not sure what else you would have happen. That seems pretty necessary to me. But you don't have to pull stuff from nowhere. Have the character that everyone (including the reader) is putting their faith in, lose. Etc. etc.
     
  16. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I feel cheated when writers do that, not to mention the insult to my intelligence.
     

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