1. ElevensCompanion
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    ElevensCompanion Member

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    What is the best way to reveal plot twist?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ElevensCompanion, Jun 2, 2013.

    In the current story I'm working on, I have a plot twist that I want to put in the end. It deals with a character revealing herself to be the MC's daughter to the MC. Would it be best to reveal it straight at the end or save it for a possible sequel?
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    When did we find out about Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Darth?

    Then again it depends if this is the big climax in your book and what else is going on.
     
  3. ElevensCompanion
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    ElevensCompanion Member

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    I was planning on revealing it at the very end, after the climax.
     
  4. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    It worked for The Empire Strikes Back to have it at the end. As a kid I never believed it: Darth Vader was evil, so of course he was going to lie to Luke.

    As a reader I say leave me wanting to know why and wondering why (put it in at the end). It means that if you do write a sequel, people who loved your first book will want to know more. If you don't write it, they will still be wondering what happened. You need to have a hook for people to want to read a sequel in the first place.
     
  5. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    The first thought to pop in my mind was reveal the twist at the end and use that to help set up the sequel if you plan to write one.
     
  6. ElevensCompanion
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    ElevensCompanion Member

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    At first, I had no plans for a sequel whatsoever. I planned to have a closure to the story but then the plot twist hit me. But now I have to think how I'm going to plan the sequel after the big reveal.
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    could the first chapter of your sequel be more or less the last chapter of your debut?
     
  8. ElevensCompanion
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    ElevensCompanion Member

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    It could. I was thinking it would be best to start the sequel from where the first book ended. It was either reveal the twist in the last chapter or reveal it in the first in the second book.
     
  9. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    In my opinion twists work better in the end than the beginning. But also consider if a sequel needs to be written at all. I spend half the time really hoping someone will write a sequel to a series/book/film I really love and the other half really hoping they don't because the twist at the end can not be bettered (I am thinking of Homeland, and the British series Utopia in particular).
     
  10. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think TV sequels are always crap. It's like they write this fantastic series (like Homeland) and then think "Shit, this making us a fortune, people love it" and then they go and ruin it by prolonging it for the sake of prolonging it. Can you name any sequels that were better than the first? Movies or books included...
     
  11. ElevensCompanion
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    ElevensCompanion Member

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    You have a point. The only things I can think of is the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games. I think if the story needs to keep moving and if their doesn't need to be a closure, then a sequel is necessary.
     
  12. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Movies: Empire Strikes Back
    TV: Breaking Bad

    Probably some others too
     
  13. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ok 2 out of 2 gazillion :)
     
  14. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Yeah, the crap definitely outweighs the good.

    But there is a difference between sequels and series, or books with the same characters. E.g. Ian Rankin's Rebus books, Iain M. Banks Culture books, Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books, etc.

    Not sequels as such, but individual novels set in the same worlds with same characters.
     
  15. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    While there are several different ways of going about it, the choice of how it's done comes from you and how you plan it. Each of my stories I've written with my MC has a major twist in them, but I drop subtle hints by using little things. In my first book I make mentions to certain things in my MC's past that can tie it together-if you're thinking about it. The second one is a bit more of a blindsiding.

    It boils down to how you plan out your story or, in my case, how it grows on it's own. I never sit down and plan out my plots, which makes it a bit easier for me to arrange twists. So, just sit back, see how you're written the story and see how it fits. If the first try doesn't..then try it a different way until you think it fits correctly.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't even think sequel. The question you should concern yourself with is whether the revelation truly has a bearing on your (one and only) story.
     
  17. ElevensCompanion
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    Well it brings in a set of unanswered questions to both the MC and reader. It also brings a new conflict and consequences.
     
  18. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    I actually have a similar dilemma - the plot twist leads to further conflict and story. I'll be honest that "sequel" has been fluttering in and out of mind (but I'm trying to surpress that!). I think, like other posters have said. Focus on one book. Use the twist earlier if you need to and then play the conflict out; it will be a way more engaging ONE book, than a stretched two-book series. Remember that you can fit a lot into 100,000 words :)
     
  19. ElevensCompanion
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    ElevensCompanion Member

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    Yeah, your right. I think I should just go with the flow of the story, and if the twist can be revealed earlier, then let it. And then I could either give some answers about it or leave it hanging.
     
  20. archerfenris
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    archerfenris Active Member

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    Game of Thrones. Fourth book is teh best.
     
  21. ProsonicLive
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    ProsonicLive Senior Member

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    we do not have your manuscript and this is one of those that, without seeing it, is a shot in the dark.
     
  22. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Reveal it in such a way that the reader feels like you ran up to them and smacked them upside the head with it.

    In all seriousness it's your story and you're the writer. The decision is ultimately yours and you know your story better than any of us do! As for sequels think about whether or not the story needs it. Does the end of the book go totally unresolved and need another book to bridge the gap? If not then I'd consider just making it one book. Also consider how big of an impact it would make on the mc. If it's not a huge life altering thing then I'm not sure why it would need a whole separate book unless there is more to tell than just that. Hope that helps. :)
     
  23. Thomas Kitchen
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    Toy Story 2 and 3

    The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

    TV series Dexter (I've never read the books)

    TV series Sherlock

    The Dark Knight

    My list could go on, but I won't bore you. :p My point is that good, if not great, sequels can be done, and that should be our motivation when writing our own sequel (if a sequel is truly necessary)...
     
  24. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Without seeing or knowing about the rest of your story, I'm with Cogito on this one.

    A true 'plot twist' helps to resolve a story in a surprising way, not start another one. At least as far as I'm aware.

    The author chucking in a big reveal at the end—oh, by the way, I'm your daughter—I think that would annoy me, as a reader.

    UNLESS...

    Unless you've been dropping hints throughout the piece that she might be the MC's daughter (or that the MC has a missing daughter) ...and work this 'surprise ending' into your present story as if it resolves a subplot.
     
  25. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Is the reveal important to the story? If it is, then how on earth could you afford to leave it out? Your story would be incomplete and would leave the reader dissatisfied, and a dissatisfying ending could leave a reader alienated forever, never to read another one of your works.

    Focus on the story at hand. You don't even *have* a sequel yet.
     

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