The thing about plot twists? Never do them!
Hey, don’t leave that, I was making a point! Badly!
The best plot twists in books I’ve read often have to do with the author asking himself, “How best can I make this character suffer?” Think on this question, think on it really hard; whatever the answer ends up being…do that! You’re bound to produce a river of tears from your faithful fans; it’s all about the art of making your characters’ lives as miserable as can be!
Twist your readers’ expectations, and they’ll come back for more time and time again. How you do that is a broader topic that I’ll look at in more detail sooner or later, but it has to do with taking well-established elements in your world, and using them in ways inventive enough that very few would ever figure out before the fact. Subvert expectations.
Plot twists differ in scope — there are awe-inspiring, world-shattering events that can change the entire way something is viewed; and then there’s those smaller, personal tragedies that play out between characters on an entirely different level.
Make sure not to diminish the impact of your plot twists. That most often happens with sheer overuse or with trite and convoluted twists that do not follow the rules you’ve set up. Plot twists that don’t follow the law as you’ve written it risk turning into deus ex machina devices; and we all know how warmly those are received nowadays.
That’s what I reckon on the subject of Plot Twists! If you enjoyed this piece, feel free to follow me; I’d also enjoy discussing anything of interest in the comments below!