1. Drmoses
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    Drmoses Member

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    How crucial is a monumental/surprising plot twist?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Drmoses, Nov 26, 2014.

    What I mean is that, there seems to be this prevailing criteria that is often imposed upon works of fiction these days; whether they be novels, films, television programs etc. The criteria is that, unless the work contains some incredibly surprising, unforeseen, unexpected, shocking, revolutionary plot twist; it's not smart or even worthy. An example might be a movie, where people watch it and at the end they dislike it because they figured out who the killer was at the beginning.

    Perhaps its just the circles that I run in where this idea has taken hold but my question to all of you is, is there any truth to it? More importantly, if a novel's conclusion isn't a shocking twist; is still a desired read? I guess I'm asking if the good guy can still win and get the girl in the end these days?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's not crucial at all, and you can find plenty of novels that don't employ twists like this. If you're writing a mystery it may be more important than if you're writing in other genres.
     
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  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think that very much depends on the genre. If your film is a detective mystery and the audience guessed who the killer is from the very beginning, well then of course they'll be disappointed. The story was meant to deliver a mystery. It's what the audience came to see. Where's the mystery if you can guess who the killer is right away?

    So I think it's more a case of meeting audience expectations based on the genre you're writing.

    But in short, no, not every book and film must have some earth-shattering twist. Fault in Our Stars, for example - what's the earth-shattering twist? One of them dies (I won't give away who) but the biggest "twist" then is known all along. In a book about cancer kids, of course someone was gonna die. And even though I hadn't been able to guess who would die, I know others saw it coming. Yet it's huge. Why?

    Because people didn't come to read a mystery. They didn't come to find out "Who dies?" They came to read a romance. They came for the insights the characters had to offer on cancer and on death. They came to love and laugh and grieve with the characters. And on this level, John Green delivered - he delivered BIG. I cried several times reading it and I cried again half a year later just thinking about it. There's no twist, but I didn't read that for a twist.

    But if I came for a mystery and knew right away what the answer is, yup I'd be pretty peeved lol.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  4. Drmoses
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    Drmoses Member

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    Perfect response. I appreciate that. It helps put some things into perspective!
     
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  5. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I definitely don't think it's necessary, because there are plenty of stories that don't have it. It's only really needed if you sell the story as a mystery with a twist.
     
  6. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Depends on the genre, but not everything needs a twist. Everything does need a reason to keep turning pages though...
     
  7. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    A lot of coming-of-age novels jump to mind who do not use plot twists at all.
     

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