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Get Creative in the Kitchen: Fun Twists on the Best Apple Crisp Recipe Ever
Are you looking to add a delicious and comforting dessert to your repertoire? Look no further than the classic apple crisp. With its warm and buttery topping paired with sweet and tart apples, it’s no wonder this dessert is a favorite among many. But why stick to the traditional recipe when you can get creative in the kitchen? In this article, we will explore fun twists on the best apple crisp recipe ever that will have your taste buds begging for more.
Nutty Delight: Adding a Crunchy Twist
If you’re a fan of nuts, then this twist on the classic apple crisp is for you. By incorporating different types of nuts into your topping, you can take your dessert to a whole new level. Consider adding chopped pecans or walnuts for an extra crunch that complements the softness of the apples perfectly. The combination of textures will make each bite even more enjoyable.
To achieve this nutty delight, simply follow your favorite apple crisp recipe and add around 1/2 cup of chopped nuts to your topping mixture. Spread it evenly over the apples before baking as usual. The result will be an irresistible blend of flavors that will leave everyone asking for seconds.
Fall Spice Infusion: Embrace Autumn Flavors
One of the best things about apple crisp is how well it pairs with warm fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. To give your dish an extra cozy touch, consider infusing these autumn flavors into your recipe.
Start by adding a teaspoon or two of ground cinnamon to your topping mixture. This simple addition will enhance both the taste and aroma of your apple crisp, making it even more enticing. For an extra kick, sprinkle in some ground nutmeg or cloves as well.
The combination of these fall spices with the sweetness of the apples creates a dessert that is perfect for enjoying on a chilly autumn evening. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you’ll have a crowd-pleasing treat that will leave everyone feeling warm and satisfied.
Tart and Tangy: Introduce Citrus Zest
If you’re looking to add a refreshing twist to your apple crisp, consider incorporating citrus zest into your recipe. The bright flavors of lemon or orange can beautifully complement the sweetness of the apples, creating a delightful balance of tart and tangy notes.
To achieve this zesty twist, grate the zest of one lemon or orange into your apple mixture before baking. This simple addition will infuse your dish with a burst of citrus flavor that will take it to new heights. The result will be an apple crisp that is not only comforting but also refreshing, making it an ideal choice for any time of year.
Decadent Delights: Indulge in Caramel or Chocolate
For those with a sweet tooth, why not take your apple crisp to the next level by indulging in some caramel or chocolate? These decadent additions bring rich and luxurious flavors to the table, making for an unforgettable dessert experience.
Consider drizzling caramel sauce over the apples before adding the topping mixture. As it bakes, the caramel will melt into the apples, creating pockets of gooey goodness throughout. Alternatively, you can sprinkle chocolate chips over the apples for a melty and indulgent treat.
The combination of warm apples with caramel or chocolate creates an irresistible dessert that is sure to satisfy any cravings. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an extra touch of decadence.
In conclusion, while the classic apple crisp recipe is undeniably delicious on its own, adding fun twists can elevate this dessert to new heights. Whether you prefer nutty crunchiness, fall spices infusion, citrus zing, or decadent indulgence, experimenting with these creative variations will ensure that your apple crisp stands out from the rest. So, get creative in the kitchen and enjoy the best apple crisp recipe ever with a twist that suits your taste buds.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Plot Twist Ideas: 8 Great Ideas for Writers
Table of Contents
What is a plot twist, 3 tips on how to write a plot twist, 8 plot twist ideas:, how prowritingaid can help you write good plot twists.
If you’re anything like me, you love a story that has a surprise plot twist that makes you wonder how the writer tricked you so easily.
As writers, a plot twist is one of the best devices we can use to build tension, reveal character details, and switch up the direction of the plot. Adding your own plot twist to a story or novel is no easy feat; readers aren’t easy to trick.
You’re probably wondering, “How do I write a great plot twist readers won’t see coming?”
In this article, you’ll learn how to write your own plot twists, which types are best for different stories, and some plot twist examples.
A plot twist is an unexpected plot point that changes the direction of the story. It doesn’t need to appear in any specific part of the plot, but it needs to be set up correctly. A good plot twist is something a reader doesn’t see coming.
While your twist needs to be a surprise, it needs to be inevitable. If your reader goes back through the story so far, they need to be able to identify the clues you cleverly hid in the details.
We expect plot twists in certain genres, such as mysteries, thrillers, and crime stories. Writers in these genres use twists to keep the reader guessing about who the criminal might be and whether the protagonist will beat the antagonist at the end.
However, plot twists aren’t limited to only crime genres. You’ll find incredible twists in romance, fantasy, and literary novels. Beth O’Leary used a plot twist in her romance novel The No-Show to reveal an important character detail, which surprised readers, but it was crucial to the plot.
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Types of Plot Twists
There are three types of plot twists that can appear in any genre type. These types are the revelation, unexpected consequences, and misdirection.
In a revelation twist, the writer presents new information that changes the direction of the plot from that moment. Your character might discover they have been betrayed. An unreliable narrator could realize they’ve been naive and start seeing the world differently.
Unexpected consequences mean your character enters a key scene expecting the events to go one way, but then something completely different happens. A great example is in The Picture of Dorian Gray . When Dorian goes to check the painting, thinking he has redeemed himself, he discovers the painting looks even worse than before.
Misdirection is a great twist that tricks your reader into believing the main characters have resolved their conflict, but then something shows the assumption was wrong. This is great for mysteries when the killer appears to be caught, and then the actual murderer appears.
In order to write a good plot twist, there are some important tips to follow that will ensure you’re keeping your readers surprised and satisfied.
Tip 1: Build Your Twist From the Beginning
Building your twist into the entire story from the beginning means it’ll have the impact you’re aiming for. A great example of this is Fight Club , where we are introduced to Tyler Durden from the opening scene in the book, when we’re given the first set of clues that set up the revelation.
Don’t let your great plot twist idea appear out of nowhere. When the reader discovers the big reveal, you want them to kick themselves for not noticing sooner.
If you want your twist to be a random act of God, a change of fate, a natural disaster, or that a part of the story was a dream, you need to make sure your setup is perfect to ensure the reader accepts it as plausible.
Most writers who want to include a plot twist will write the plot backward from that moment when planning the story. This allows the story development to feel natural.
Tip 2: Bury Your Plot Twist Clues
Plot twists need to be a surprise, otherwise they’re just not going to impress anyone. You’ve just created the list of clues that need to be included for your twist to make sense. Now you need to bury them in the writing until you’re ready for the reader to find them.
Action scenes are perfect places for you to drop in clues because your reader is distracted by what’s happening in the scene. The details might seem irrelevant, but they’ll become important at the moment of the plot twist.
You can also use misdirection to lead the reader toward the wrong assumption, but you’ll need to make sure the deceit isn’t obvious. Also, don’t send your reader to too many dead ends, or they’ll give up guessing.
Tip 3: Avoid Using Cliché Twists
If there’s something worse than a twist that doesn’t make sense, or that we saw coming a mile off, it’s a twist we’ve seen a million times.
The best plot twists are impressive and memorable the first time we read them. Therefore, it’s so easy to spot them if someone else is gearing up to use it in their writing. Readers develop a sixth sense about twists, so you can’t fool them.
Some examples of cliché plot twist ideas include:
The antagonist was really the protagonist’s father.
None of it ever happened because it was just a dream.
There was only ever one hero that could save the day, and it turns out it’s the protagonist.
Someone faked their death and returned later to save the day.
Here is a list of eight plot twist ideas you can use for plot twists.
1. Your Protagonist Is Betrayed by Their Close Friend
A betrayal will test your main characters’ relationships. You can drop hints that the friend has their own agenda, but no one thought they would do something as horrible as this.
2. A New Character Appears
New characters can challenge your protagonist and ruin the plans they’ve set up in the story so far. The character can’t magically appear, so it’s best to have another character mention them in a previous scene before the surprising reveal, when they show up in person.
3. The Antagonist Announces Their Love for the Main Character
A new love interest can be a twist in most stories, but if it’s the protagonist’s enemy, it’s going to surprise everyone. To make this one work, try using an unreliable narrator who makes the antagonist appear to be someone with a bitter heart who could love no one.
4. The Main Character Makes a Mistake
Mistakes happen, so this is a realistic plot development, but the importance is making sure the stakes involved are huge. What does the mistake cost the main character? Despite all their efforts, were they destined to make this mistake the entire time?
5. The Main Character Fails to Defeat the Antagonist
If it looks certain your protagonist will defeat the antagonist, you can build a twist at the midpoint of your story to create a false defeat. You can even use this twist to create a tragic ending to the story, as most readers will expect a happy ending.
6. A Flashback Reveals an Important Detail to the Reader
You could write a flashback scene that reveals details only the reader gets to see, but the protagonist is none the wiser. This creates tension for the reader as they wait to see when the protagonist will find out that information.
7. The Criminal Gets Poetic Justice
Poetic justice is something your reader expects the antagonist to get, but it could be a surprise when it happens if you set it up correctly.
8. A Minor Twist Is Followed by a Bigger Twist
You can use a small twist, such as the revelation of some key information, to distract the reader from a bigger twist.
For example, in a thriller, your protagonist could find out the killer’s DNA belongs to her best friend’s husband (small twist). When she tries to call her friend's phone to warn her, the husband answers the phone in the same room as the protagonist (big twist).
Poor writing can undermine all your hard work to create great plot twist ideas. You don’t want your reader distracted by a spelling mistake or a sentence that doesn’t sound right. You can use ProWritingAid to fix these issues in your writing.
ProWritingAid has 20+ writing reports you can use for editing your story. You can set which writing style and genre your story is before you run the reports. This will ensure you see suggestions relevant to your genre.
Use the Readability report to ensure you’re not overcomplicating your writing to hide your clues. Just because your plot twist is clever, it doesn’t mean you need to write hard-to-read sentences.
The Echoes and All Repeats reports will help you identify how often you have included certain words and phrases. If they are key clues for your plot twist, you might not want them to appear too often, as your reader will pick up these phrases, and it’ll ruin the surprise.
I hope you enjoy writing your unexpected plot twists and editing your story with ProWritingAid.
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57 Short Story Ideas With An Unexpected Twist
Who doesn’t love unexpected plot twists ?
Just when you think you know what’s coming…
A devastating secret or unknown danger comes to light.
And everything changes.
The way forward is no longer clear.
The stakes have gone up.
Or maybe the twist comes when things look darkest.
Suddenly it seems possible (though not at all certain) that our hero might triumph.
Creating good plot twists is an art form in itself.
So, how do you create your own?
What Makes a Good Twist for a Story?
How do you write a twist short story , funny short story ideas with a twist, scary short story ideas with a twist, hero short story ideas with a twist, short story ideas with a twist ending.
One of the best things about reading a well-crafted plot twist is being able to tell yourself, “Aha! I knew it wouldn’t be that easy….” or “Oh, wow! I knew something was coming, but not that !”
It feels like you and the narrator have had a moment. And with the big reveal, they wink in your direction as if to say, “I know you felt a twist coming. Good instincts. High-five!”
So, how do you create a plot twist with that kind of power?
- Stop anywhere in your story and ask at least five “What if” questions;
- Make them as outlandish as you want. Ditch the filter and just jot down whatever;
- Play with one of your favorite ideas and see how far you can take it;
- Ask a friend/ beta reader for plot twist ideas they might have (you never know);
- Read stories with surprising plot twists and ask yourself why they surprised you.
Effective twists have the following in common:
- Something shocking happens or is revealed;
- The twist is unexpected but makes sense;
- The rest of the story quietly sets the stage for it.
Stage-setting can include foreshadowing, which leads to that “aha!” moment you want your reader to have. To them, it feels like a reward for noticing something that, when they read it, felt like a minor but vaguely important detail.
On some level, they knew it meant something.
As you read the short story twist examples in the list below, keep in mind these ideas are just the skeleton of the story. They tell you what happens. But only you can make it worth your reader’s time.
57 Short Story Ideas with a Twist
Some (even many) of the plot twist ideas in the list below will probably sound familiar because they use popular tropes. But like even the most well-loved tropes, they can only tell you what happens in the story.
1. A teenager uses magic to help his crush win a competition when he suspects someone of sabotaging her. The suspect knows something he doesn’t.
2. You’ve won an award for your giant pumpkin, but then you learn the surprising secret behind its unusual growth.
3. You wake up able to understand your cat and eventually realize you’ve been turned into one.
4. One Christmas, you pretend Santa is real for your nephew, who believes. It turns out he’s right to believe.
5. You wake up to a completely different life and realize the life you knew was an illusion created by your parents.
6. Your birthday wish comes true and wreaks havoc. And your nightmare becomes your only hope of survival.
7. You have a knack for magic tricks that backfire in spectacular fashion. Today’s birthday surprise is only slightly different.
8. The new student your hero befriends turns out to be their missing cat, which explains the attitude.
9. You find a work-from-home roommate who’s tidy, considerate, responsible, and a fantastic cook. Then the neighbors start disappearing.
10. You invent a beverage that eliminates the need for sleep, with a side effect that seems manageable at first.
11. You create a successful hybrid of two beloved houseplants, only to discover its blooms have a distinct and overpowering scent.
12. The story begins with the protagonist asking someone, “What are you doing in my house?” It ends with the other character asking the same question.
13. The hero finally locates the perfect anniversary gift for their partner—one that reveals they knew about their partner’s murder attempt.
14. A blind teenager has a gift for drawing faces based on witness descriptions. Her latest drawing looks exactly like her mother.
15. You’re raised to believe an alien race is hunting you. Eventually, you learn they’re trying to rescue you—from your “family.”
16. You have no idea why you woke up in a forest until you become the center of a murder investigation.
17. You befriend a killer’s last would-be victim, only to discover they’ve been the killer all along. And you’re the endgame.
18. The city’s new gardener has a secret, which she reveals when her finished garden opens to the public.
19. The next-door neighbors moved in during the night, and they practically live in the backyard pool. Your mc discovers why.
20. Your new coworker is always bringing you fresh coffee. Then, one morning, you wake up married to them.
21. A couple learns their adopted daughter has a twin with dangerous gifts. The twins eventually meet, and truths come out.
22. A wolf shifter marks the home of his “future mate,” not realizing she has no idea she’s a wolf.
23. An intergalactic explorer is rescued by aliens who warn them about Earth: a toxic wasteland with few humans left.
24. Aliens find a spaceship with an abandoned child; little by little, they mine her memories to reveal a devastating truth.
25. The main character (mc) is convinced they’ve attained their success without anyone’s help, but a new friend slowly reveals the humbling truth.
26. A dreaded break-up goes surprisingly well, and you pursue a sudden and irresistible opportunity, not knowing who’s behind it.
27. The hero saves the life of their crush using magic without realizing they were noticed by someone who has a crush on them.
28. The hero’s gift turns people into supersoldiers, giving Earth an advantage and turning people into the creatures they’re fighting.
29. The hero wakes up in the care of a nation’s leader and becomes their closest ally until they learn the truth.
30. The hero takes pride in their skill at hunting demons until they learn the truth about their own parentage.
31. The hero makes an example of a school bully—only to find out the real threat is the friend he was protecting.
32. The hero is a highly-skilled hacker whose skills avert a global crisis and whose reward looks a lot like punishment.
33. The hero’s parents have kept a secret; to save his life, they’ll have to tell someone who wants him dead.
34. The hero is a dragon shifter whose twin has an agenda: be fruitful and multiply, starting with the hero’s girlfriend.
35. Your hero receives a magical book and discovers why they have a knack for it—and what it will cost.
36. You receive an heirloom that is supposed to reveal your sacred gift at midnight. You are your family’s doom.
37. A well-established hero is also a well-established villain, and no one is aware.
38. A family of heroes fosters a teenager, who happens to be a vigilante currently foiling all of their plans.
39. The queen bee at your hero’s school just happens to be their mother, who became a vampire after a difficult childbirth.
40. The hero is determined to win a chance at courting the princess. He knows something the other contestants do not.
41. The heroine is determined to run away when a new servant divulges a secret about her royal parents.
42. Overnight, the richest kingdom on earth becomes a haven for every species but humans. Only the cats know why.
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43. Your adoptive parents have always avoided talking about your birth mother. In the end, you find out why.
44. A picture of your parents drives you to end a relationship, only to learn the real reason behind your reaction.
45. A successful author of paranormal erotica uses a pen name; a woman with that name claims the rights to her stories.
46. Your “hero” is constantly cleaning up after an elusive bad guy, but a surprise clue points to the hero’s fianceé.
47. Thanks to a rare (dissociative) personality disorder, your hero is constantly receiving anonymous gifts. They suspect an ex-girlfriend.
48. Only when the pregnant hero’s husband walks out of the delivery room does she learn a devastating secret.
49. Your hero-narrator’s chemically-induced dreams come true, which benefits everyone until someone changes the chemicals. It’s the hero.
50. You’re about to marry the world-famous inventor of AI companions when you learn why you’ve never seen them asleep.
51. Your BFF’s secret novel project is a huge success, but they swear you to secrecy about it. You learn why.
52. A couple whose five-year-old son was kidnapped later adopts a teenager who believes he was “rescued” at age five. He’s not wrong.
53. One pandemic survivor becomes a surrogate mother for a ruling family—until they learn the virus was of alien origin.
54. When the mc’s best friend from childhood volunteers to donate a life-saving kidney, both learn they have the same father.
55. A successful and single billionaire spends a fortune to keep a love-child secret, but the billionaire’s dying mother finds out.
56. The mc’s favorite teacher, who’s just been fired, turns out to be their birth mother.
57. Your roommate writes bestselling novels every month. You coerce them into revealing their secret; it’s you who’ve written the stories.
Now that you’ve looked through all 57 plot twist ideas, which ones jumped out at you? Which one has you itching to jot down some ideas. And where will those lead you today?
101 Great Plot Twist Ideas to Elevate Your Script
Is there anything better than a great plot twist? Twists, turns, big reveals, and surprise endings are some of the most coveted aspects of a great story, whether they are found within movies, TV shows, or novels. Plot twists break the monotony of conventional plots and stories, which is why script readers, audiences, and publishers love them.
But writing the right plot twist can be a challenge. A great plot twist can impact your audience with an emotional gut-punch they'll never forget. While the wrong kind of plot twist will leave readers feeling cheated or even let down. That being said, you can't rely solely on plot twists to make your script engaging. You still need strong storytelling and characterization.
Read More: What is a Plot ?
And even when you find the perfect plot twist, you still have to build to it. Like one of the best plot twists of all-time in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back :
We've seen plenty of movies and shows and read plenty of novels that depict a hero facing off against an evil villain. Light versus Dark. But when that villain is revealed to be that hero's father, your world is rocked. In a good way.
The good news is that finding and developing a great plot twist is pretty easy. You just start with a seed—a revelation or epiphany that starts with, "What if..." Then you weave the results into your plots, stories, and characters for a more dynamic script. To help you get started here's a collection of 101 great plot twist ideas you can use to elevate your script. Try them out. Play around with them. And if you find one that you think is a good fit, plant it into your story and watch it grow.
101 Plot Twist Ideas
Red Herring — All suspicion points to one character, but when the truth is revealed, it's another that did the terrible deed.
The narrator is not the person we thought they were.
A weakness of a character is actually their greatest strength.
A character's strength defeats them.
A character's weakness saves them.
The weakest character is the villain.
The strongest character is the first to die.
The smartest character is the first to be outwitted.
The most skilled character succumbs to the least skilled character.
The protagonist is living two lives.
The antagonist is living two lives.
The wrong first impression of a character.
What first seemed like a wrong first impression of a character ends up being right.
A surprising person ends up being the puppet master behind everything.
When the protagonist solves the mystery, it opens up a Pandora's Box.
The conflict the protagonist was going through was a ruse concocted by their friends to help them with confidence or to overcome fear.
The conflict the protagonist was going through was a ruse concocted by former victims of their bullying.
The conflict the protagonist was going through was a practical joke.
The protagonist receiving help actually doesn't want it.
The protagonist that doesn't seem to want help actually does.
A gift is really a danger.
What seems like a dangerous object at first is actually a gift that helps the protagonist.
The dead body isn't dead.
The informant is actually the mastermind.
The supposed mastermind is actually a red herring.
An otherwise straightforward romantic comedy leads into horror territory.
A gigantic meteor streaks across the sky.
A terrible storm moves in, threatening all.
A stranger enters the story, informing the characters that they are all being watched.
The goal achieved ends up making things worse.
The love interest is the antagonist.
An object has a special meaning.
A missing child planned their abduction to get back at their abusive parents.
The parent is really the grandparent.
Good vs. Evil Plot Twists
The narrator is the villain telling the hero's story.
The narrator is the hero telling the villain's story.
Your character is a superhero that lost their powers.
The opening hero is killed within the first act.
The villain is a twin of the hero.
The hero is one of a triplet trio.
Two villains are two of a triplet trio — the hero is the third.
The protagonist is both the hero and the villain.
The supportive friend is the killer.
It is revealed that the hero has an unheroic past.
The villain is in love with the hero.
A supporting character is an intruder working for the villain.
The hero is related to the villain.
The villain is an evil clone of the hero.
The villain is revealed to have been right under the hero's nose the whole time.
The strength of a character is actually their greatest weakness.
The hero must die to save everyone else.
The villain has a change of heart but has driven the hero too far over the edge and must stop them.
The villain ends up being revealed as the true hero.
The hero ends up being revealed as the true villain.
The hero and villain each live dual lives — one where they are the hero and another where they are the villain.
Timeline Plot Twists
The protagonist is revealed to be from the future.
What we believe to be set in the past is actually set in the present.
What we believe to be set in the present is actually set in the future.
What we believe to be set in the future is actually set in an alternate reality.
The protagonist is revealed to be from the past.
The protagonist is revealed to be from another dimension or timeline.
The antagonist is revealed to be the protagonist's future self.
The antagonist is actually the protagonist's past self.
The antagonist is revealed to be the protagonist's alternate reality self.
The ending is revealed to be the beginning.
The beginning is revealed to be the ending.
It's all a dream.
It's all a nightmare.
It's all a memory.
The love interest is a bodyguard sent from the future to protect them.
Your story based on or around true events is an alternate reality with a different ending.
A stranger enters the story, informing the characters that they've all done this before.
Mind-Bending Plot Twists
The story being told is revealed to be a fictional book written by the protagonist.
The characters are actually figments of someone's imagination.
The characters are manifestations of someone's multiple personality disorder.
The antagonist is a split personality of the protagonist.
A stranger enters the story, informing the characters that their reality isn't what it seems.
The love interest is actually a figment of a lonely person's imagination.
The detective hunting down the criminal is actually the criminal — they suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder .
The physically challenged character isn't physically challenged.
The mentally challenged character isn't mentally challenged.
The mentally stable character isn't mentally stable.
The killer imagined their whole killing rampage.
Supernatural Plot Twist Ideas
The protagonist is revealed to be a person's psyche trapped in another's body.
The narrator is an angel, examining the lives of humans.
God is the narrator, admiring his/her creations.
The narrator is Satan, reveling at the tormenting of God's little creatures known as humans.
Death narrates the story, witnessing a life he/she must take.
The dead body discovered is a dead ringer for the person that found it.
A character that believes they are in Heaven is actually in Hell.
A character that believes they are in Hell is actually in Heaven.
The ghosts aren't ghosts — they're from a parallel universe merging with the protagonist's universe.
An object has a special power.
Those we thought were dead are not.
The people we thought were alive are dead.
Tech & Sci-Fi Plot Twist Ideas
The events of the story were all a computer simulation.
The city the characters live within is actually on a spaceship.
The city the characters live within is actually set deep within a mountain after a nuclear war.
The spaceship where the story takes place is actually a prison—unbeknownst to the crew.
An otherwise straightforward drama leads into science fiction territory.
Plot Twist #101. The writer looking for plot twist inspiration had a revelation that led to an even better plot twist not mentioned above.
Bend and shape these plot twists to fit and elevate your stories — and share them with your writing peers.
Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for nearly two decades, most notably as a studio liaison for Sony Studios and then as a script reader and story analyst for Sony Pictures.
He has many studio meetings under his belt as a produced screenwriter, meeting with the likes of Sony, Dreamworks, Universal, Disney, Warner Brothers, as well as many production and management companies. He has had a previous development deal with Lionsgate, as well as multiple writing assignments, including the produced miniseries Blackout , starring Anne Heche, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Zane, James Brolin, Haylie Duff, Brian Bloom, Eric La Salle, and Bruce Boxleitner, and the feature thriller Hunter's Creed starring Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, Wesley Truman Daniel, Mickey O'Sullivan, John Victor Allen, and James Errico. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenMovies
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- Writing Prompts
42+ Short Story Ideas With a Twist
Everyone loves a good plot twist! The moment where everything changes unexpectedly in your story. But as writers, it’s not always easy coming up with remarkable plot twists that will amaze your readers. So to help you out, here are over 40 short story ideas with a twist that will shock your readers. You might also want to read our post on how to come up with good story ideas for further help and inspiration.
We also recommend viewing our weekly short story challenge . It’s free to enter, and can inspire you to write a great story.
Over 40 Short Story Ideas With a Twist
When you’re staring at a blank page or just need something to brighten up your current story or piece of flash fiction , just add in any of these fun and wacky plot twist ideas:
- An evil warlock who sets out to destroy the world, but ends up saving it.
- A superhero who catches the bad guy, but actually helps the “real” bad guy get away or escape.
- An everyday boy walks up from a coma to discover the world has been taken over by aliens – But is this all a dream?
- You wake up one day to realise that you can talk to dogs. But it turns out that you have been turned into an actual dog. More doggy prompts on our writing prompts about dogs post.
- In a war between humans and aliens, you lose your best friend. However, he/she is really alive and working with the aliens.
- Life is good, life is perfect until you realise everything is a hologram and the real world is a dark and broken place.
- The hero of your story realises that they were the villain all along. It was their actions that made the villain the evil person they are today.
- After years of not believing, you find out that Santa Clause was actually real. More Santa prompts on our Christmas writing prompts advent calendar post.
- The hero of your story finds out that their best friend was the real bad guy all along.
- You realise that your whole life was a dream and you only just woke up now.
- A zombie who wants to become a vegetarian – Now that’s a strange combination!
- The hero of your story dies before the final battle scene and a new hero is revealed.
- It turns out dragons are real and all along they have been living deep underground. It turns out that they are the real cause of global warming and heat waves everywhere. Read our post on fantasy writing prompts for more magical stuff.
- To your surprise, the birthday wish you made actually comes true.
- In a futuristic world, humans are fighting against robots to keep their race alive. However, it turns out that everyone is a robot anyway and the true human race died out years ago.
- A random natural disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane happens, giving your hero another extra thing to worry about.
- Your main character is a werewolf hunter, but it turns out that he himself is a werewolf (see our werewolf name generator for some cool name ideas).
- An evil conman (or any other type of villain) turns out to be your hero’s only saviour.
- Your main character is the good guy and the bad guy in your story, as they have a rare split personality disorder.
- All your life you knew your best friend. But one day you find out that your real best friend passed away years ago and was replaced by a robot.
- Things have been getting stolen around town and your main character has to solve the case. However, it turns out that your main character was the thief all along. They probably didn’t know it because they were sleepwalking.
- Your character has been keeping a secret, which is only unveiled at the very end of your story – Possibly ending your story with a cliffhanger!
- All your life you have been told not to leave your house, as you will turn to stone if you do. But the real truth is that the witch that cursed you, is the one who will turn to stone if you leave. You might want to read our post on fairytale ideas for more inspiration.
- Your parents have told you to avoid the deep forest at all costs, as a deadly monster lives there. But you actually find out that the monster is a made-up story told by the townspeople to keep you from leaving town.
- After reading a magical book, you gain some magical powers. However, it turns out that you always had these magical abilities inside of you. And the magical book is just an ordinary storybook with no magical abilities whatsoever.
- A teen girl in high school is being bullied only to realize that the bullying is really being done by a group of aliens and that she is the only human on the planet.
- The main character finds a journal hidden in their home. Inside the journal, they discover that their whole life has been planned from the very beginning, as written exactly in that journal.
- The main character wakes up one morning and everything’s backwards.
- The main character of one story is secretly in love with the main character of another story.
- A boy (or girl) wakes up after being in a coma and discovers that they are actually a famous actor and are being watched over by the secret service agents who put them in a coma.
- A family goes on a camping trip and something goes terribly wrong. In the woods, they encounter an old cabin that they find out has been vacant for a long time. They go inside and find out that the cabin is where they grew up and they find out that their parents have been hiding a very dangerous secret from them all along.
- A group of teens get lost on a camping trip and find out they are actually in a dimension where they are ghost hunters, and they have to hunt their other selves (who are the ghosts).
- The main character wakes up one morning to discover that their reality is a computer game and that they have been playing it for years.
- The main character finds out that their family is not their real family. They discover that they were adopted and that their real mother is a famous actress and singer.
- The main character wakes up one morning to discover that they have been asleep in a coma for years and that they have been dreaming about their life for years.
- A family moves back into their old family home which is now haunted by ghosts. it turns out those ghosts are the younger versions of the family.
- A famous actor who is now a ‘has been’ discovers that he was actually kidnapped, and forced to be a star. Otherwise, he was just an ordinary office worker.
- A teenager is part of a strange cult that believes in aliens living on Earth. It turns out the teenager is an alien herself and is actually brainwashing humans.
- The main character discovers that they are actually being controlled by aliens in outer space for a bigger master plan.
- The main character takes a vacation to a remote island. There, they discover a group of people who have been faking their own deaths for years.
- A man’s best friend, his dog turns out to be his real best friend who passed away years ago.
- An alien creature comes to Earth to escape his prison sentence on his home planet. Soon he discovers that he is actually doing his prison sentence on Earth.
- A teenage girl starts to read an encyclopedia in which she discovers that all of her childhood memories are actually written in this book.
- A shy teenager is kidnapped by aliens who promise to let her live in exchange for her writing scary stories. It turns out the whole story is actually told by an alien mother to her alien child.
- The main character is forced to perform in a play they know they will fail in. During the play, they discover that it is actually their job to stop an alien from taking over Earth.
Take a look at this guide on how to write one-shot stories or this in-depth guide on how to write a story for children for more inspiration.
What do you think of these short story ideas with a twist? Are they twisty enough for you? Let us know in the comments below.
Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.
21 Plot Twist Ideas You’ll Never See Coming
Plot twist ideas can help you transform a story from boring to interesting. Discover some books worth exploring.
If you find yourself stuck in the world of writer’s block, one of the best ways to get out of it is to study some short story writing prompts. Many of these have plot twists in them. A good plot twist can get you out of a rut and make your work more interesting and engaging.
A plot twist is part of the story development that the reader does not expect. It is often shocking or transformative, changing the story’s path. For a plot twist to work, it can have some foreshadowing, but it must be unexpected and make sense at the end of the story, fitting the tale’s narrative. Find out more about what is a plot?
Often, the right plot twist idea gives a story power. As we describe in our what is a plot twist guide, the right one can make a mundane story engaging and thrilling to the reader. The best mystery writers regularly employ this device. If you are looking for ways to add a twist to your work, here are some plot twists that have a great impact.
1. The Usual Suspects Are Wrong
2. a revealed family connection, 3. an unknown fear, 4. a blocked passage, 5. an unexpected death, 6. a big reveal, 7. an unexpected friendship, 8. the good guy is bad, 9. an unexpected gift, 10. a natural disaster, 11. it was me, 12. the hero makes it worse, 13. wait, there’s another big bad, 14. it was all a dream, 15. the villain didn’t die, 16. the setting is the problem, 17. a gasp-worthy surprise, 18. the unreliable narrator, 19. the villain is a twin, 20. the protagonist is from the past, 21. it’s all a memory.
One of the best plot twists that makes a great story is when you create a mystery, then set up the usual suspects. However, through a turn of events, the reader discovers that an unexpected person is the real culprit, and the usual suspects are all wrong.
Agatha Christie is famous for using this plot twist idea . After many clues that were often red herrings, she sent her detectives only to discover that the real murderer was someone genuinely unexpected at the end of the story.
One of the most famous lines in the Star Wars franchise comes from the villain Darth Vader. When the masked man says, “No, I am your father,” and reveals that Luke’s arch-enemy is actually his father, it changes the whole idea behind the rivalry.
You could add this story twist to your own storyline, as long as you keep the readers unaware of the connection. This plot twist works best when you don’t offer much foreshadowing of the person’s true identity until the big reveal.
Another good plot twist is to have your main character reveal some unknown fear previously unknown to the reader. When the fear gets exposed, it becomes clear how that fear drove the actions up until that point.
This plot twist works well if the fear comes at a pivotal point in the story. For example, the writer could set up a scenario where the main characters need to jump out of an airplane with parachutes on, only to find out that one main character suffers a debilitating fear of heights, making this action nearly impossible. Paula Hawkins successfully played on fear of the unknown in one of the best plot twist books of recent years: Girl on a Train .
If your characters are going on a journey, you could throw a plot twist at them that discusses some blocked passage. For instance, they could get to the endpoint of their journey, only to find the final cave they need to pass through has a giant boulder in front of it.
What makes this work is that the story writing builds up to a climax, only to find that there is something impossible that the characters must pass to get through that climax and finish the journey. For this story twist to work, it must be unexpected.
Having the main character meet a sudden demise with no foreshadowing can take the storyline of your book and send it in a completely different direction. In some genres, like science fiction, death can also become a resurrection which further changes the story.
To make this plot twist emotionally compelling, try to choose a character in which the reader gets emotionally invested. This will make the death more impactful and allow it to redirect the story’s path.
The movie The Sixth Sense uses a big reveal at the end of the story to create a severe plot twist. In this movie, the therapist works with a young boy who claims he can see dead people. As he helps the child work through this special gift he has, the movie slowly reveals clues about the true nature of the therapist.
It isn’t until the end of the movie that the film expressly says that the therapist himself is, in fact, a ghost. When people re-watch the movie, they can see the signs that were there the entire time, but the first viewing comes as a complete surprise for most people.
Taking enemies, then working on character development throughout the story, only to show that they need each other somehow, is a great plot twist. In the end, it can create meaningful connections between the characters and even turn a “bad guy” into a “good guy.”
The Toy Story movies are an excellent example of the enemies-to-friend trope. In the beginning, Woody, the sheriff, hates Buzz Lightyear, the space hero. Yet by the end of the first movie, they have become buddies, and in the sequels, they are best friends.
A twist on the unexpected friendship is the thought of taking your protagonist and revealing, slowly or at once, that he is, in fact, the bad guy. This is a great plot twist idea because the reader spends much of the story rooting for the protagonist, only to find that he was the antagonist the entire time.
This type of plot twist makes for a terrific story. It plays with the reader’s mind and emotions and provides many opportunities for red herrings. However, to make this story satisfying, you need to resolve something the reader can agree with, building some sympathy for the actual protagonist by the end so the reader is not angered.
An unexpected gift can be a significant plot twist in your story. It could be something the protagonist needed the whole time but didn’t know, or it could change the plot’s trajectory by adding new information.
One way to twist this even further is to make the gift seem like a good thing at first, only to turn it into a source of trials. The myth of Midas does this well. Midas’s magical touch seems impressive at first, but eventually, it causes him to lose everything, meaning it was the source of his tragedies.
A fire, flood, tornado, or another natural disaster can quickly change the trajectory of a story. To make this into a plot twist, you need to ensure it is unexpected. If there are a lot of spoilers that indicate the disaster is coming, the plot twist won’t work well.
Also, making a natural disaster into a compelling plot twist must significantly impact the storyline. The combination of impact and unexpectedness makes it work well.
The “it was me all along” plot twist happens when the main character realizes their worst enemy was themselves. This twist differs from turning the good guy into the bad guy because the protagonist remains the protagonist, but his main enemy is from within.
The Agatha Christie novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd does this well. The narrator, Dr. James Sheppard, spends the book watching Hercule Poirot investigate the murder. In the end, he reveals that he is the murderer.
This plot twist takes a cut-and-dried tale and twists it to have a more engaging storyline. For example, the story could move toward a particular climax; everything seems as if it ends well, then suddenly, you realize the hero’s actions made the problem worse.
The story of Ender’s Game is an excellent example of this twist. When the main character successfully finishes his war simulations in his war training, he feels like he has done well. However, the writer reveals that the simulations were real battles against the aliens, and the main character committed genocide.
In many video games, the big bad boss is the climax of a level or game. When you beat him, you win. Many books and movies use this same idea, but they can throw a twist by revealing there is another “final boss” after what the reader thought was the main one is defeated.
In the Marvel movie Iron Man 3 , Tony Stark discovers the Mandarin he has been fighting was a hired bad guy that was nothing more than a decoy. The movie must continue as he fights Aldrich Killian to succeed.
Having a big reveal that shows that the entire story was nothing more than a dream can be an engaging plot twist. After some major disaster or other concern occurs, the reader suddenly discovers that it’s nothing more than a dream.
One of the most classic examples of this plot twist is the movie Inception . This movie leaves the watcher wondering if it was all a dream or not. The still-spinning top at the end hints that the main character could be stuck in an eternal dream and leaves the watcher wondering if the meaning is something else.
Nothing is quite as satisfying in a story as seeing an evil villain meet his demise, yet it is an exciting plot twist to discover the villain wasn’t quite as dead as you thought. This twist works exceptionally well if the villain was still doing his dastardly deeds, only without the hero’s knowledge since he thought he was dead.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Harry discovers that Peter Pettigrew, who he thought was dead, was still alive and masquerading as Ron’s rat. This revelation turns the whole direction of the story.
In most stories, a character is the main antagonist creating drama for the main characters, but sometimes it’s the setting, not a feeling. This idea can be a plot twist when the people in the story suddenly realize they aren’t where they thought they were. When the reveal occurs, the main characters see that the setting is actually what they were fighting against.
Planet of the Apes is an excellent example of this trope. In the original movie, a team of astronauts thinks they crash-land on a planet with a society of intelligent, talking apes and dumb, non-speaking humans. Yet, the scene reveals they are actually on earth, just many years in the future at the movie’s end.
It can be quite the plot twist when the writer inserts something worthy of a giant gasp. It may be a dramatic event, a sudden violent act, or a surprising reveal, but the key is that it draws a startled reaction from the reader.
The Wizard of Oz does this well. As the entire book plays up the power and mystery of the wizard in the land of Oz, the reader expects it to be a powerful creature. Yet, in the end, the writer reveals the powerful wizard is nothing more than a middle-aged man.
The unreliable narrator is a final plot twist that can make for an exciting ending to a story. With this twist, the narrator seems to be telling an engaging, true story, only for the reader or watcher to discover at the end that the narrator was lying all along, often out of a desire to misrepresent what happened.
Life of Pi is an example of this. Pi Patel seems to be telling the story about survival on the open sea with his tiger as his companion. The reader eventually discovers the real reason behind the story may have been to discuss the plight of zoo animals, not to tell a survival story.
We’ve heard of stories where the villain turns out to be related to the protagonist (we’re looking at you, Darth Vader,) but what about an evil twin? There is no greater plot twist than finding out that the villain is closer to the protagonist than we think, so how mind-bending it would be to discover that they are twins.
Not only would this be a good plot twist, but it would also open space for more hijinks and adventure in the plot. With twins on opposing sides of good and evil, there is an opportunity for character switching, creating an entertaining and thrilling scenario.
Time-bending is a common trope in many novels and movies. However, we don’t often encounter it as a surprise twist. Perhaps your protagonist can be from the past, but readers don’t discover until near the end of the story.
With this twist, there is ample opportunity to work in a great “A-Ha”!” moment. Consider factors like whether your protagonist could visit for a specific purpose. He might be living in the future on a secret mission or even searching for answers.
One of the most heart-wrenching twists is the memory trope. As readers follow along with a story, it could be a romance or thriller, and the end scene reveals that readers are living in one of the protagonist’s memories.
This is a good plot twist for a romance novel where the reader could follow along with the beginning of a budding romance and see the beautiful life two partners create. Only to discover at the end that one of them has died, and they are reliving the memories they once shared.
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Meet Rachael, the editor at Become a Writer Today. With years of experience in the field, she is passionate about language and dedicated to producing high-quality content that engages and informs readers. When she's not editing or writing, you can find her exploring the great outdoors, finding inspiration for her next project.
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Jaw Dropping Plot Twist Ideas Every Writer Needs to Know
You’ve got your characters to where you need them to be…but what next? Whichever way you look at it the story doesn’t seem to get to the next act in the way you imagine it should. Or the next act just seems too dead boring to publish!!
It’s time to think of some plot twist ideas to get your story back on track and wow your audience.
Caution: SPOILERS ahead! Enter at your own risk…but if you do get spoiled then you can take a pen and paper, read the book and jot down how it leads up to the plot twist!
What is a Plot Twist
A plot twist is a literary device used to add an extreme change in a story to shock readers. It can appear anywhere in the story (but preferably not at the beginning since you’re still building the connection between book and reader).
Use a plot twist in the middle of a story and your readers will be enticed to keep reading to see where it goes next. Write the plot twist into the ending and you’ll leave a lasting impression on your readers.
The Plot Twist Ideas We’ve All Heard (And You Should Definitely Avoid)
Not only do you need to know what type of plot twists ideas exist, you need to know which to steer clear of. If not for the sake of your readers, but for the agents and publishers who will reject poorly executed books with cliché, gimmicky twists.
Too good to defeat, beauty and the beast, from enemies to lovers , deus ex machina, it was a dream the whole time.
The hero of the story is related to the villain. What a small world we live in!
The most famous example of this is in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke’s father.
This type of plot twist idea can be interesting when used with little foreshadowing but it’s usually seen as predictable.
With this plot twist idea, either the villain can anticipate every move or they’re physically way too strong. This may lead some authors to a twist where the villain cannot be beaten. Which fans can see coming.
The problem with this twist is characters need to have weaknesses and depth for readers to engage with them. Having the antagonist be unbeatable can only lead to the protagonist’s failure or an implausible ending.
But! There are some examples with a ridiculously powerful antagonist that works.
In Norse mythology, the God Baldur’s death leads to Ragnarök. To try and prevent this, his mother, Frigg, made him invincible, except against mistletoe (which is a weird oversight that leaves room for weakness).
The reboot of the God of War franchise handles a new take on Baldur with depth and complex relationships, making it a plausible plot twist idea.
I’d hope that you, of everyone I’d faced, would finally make me feel something, but you can’t. Baldur in God Of War (2018)
The beautiful lady falls for the ugly man. This can feel like lazy writing, and nothing is surprising about this.
By the way, are we sure that Belle didn’t have Stockholm Syndrome? Now, that would be a plot twist idea.
Readers who enjoy the romance genre would’ve heard this trope a hundred times. Many love it, some can’t stand it.
The key to making this twist work is to back it up with a story that doesn’t lean on this trope too heavily and play into too many clichés surrounding it.
A creative twist on this exists in Elizabeth Lim’s Six Crimson Cranes . Shiori must use her powers and the help of the man she refused to marry to find her crane-turned brothers and save the kingdom.
Deus Ex Machina means ‘God from the machine’ and it was used in Greek and Roman plays as a literal crane to fly an angel into a scene to save the protagonist.
This type of twist comes out of left field to miraculously save the day without any real reason besides ‘an act of God.’
This is the easy way out in writing and is frowned upon by readers, agents and publishers alike.
However, this type of twist may be forgiven in a comedic setting or action.
It works in the first Toy Story movie when Buzz and Woody miraculously are at the same gas station as the delivery truck of the restaurant they need to get to. Plus, it’s a story about toys coming to life. We won’t question anything too much there anyway.
Speaking of the easy way out…the trope where the protagonist dreamt the whole story up. Or the main character was insane from the get-go and imagined the entire book’s events.
Nothing frustrates us more than instead of developing the lore of the story to find a plausible ending, the writer slams the ‘it was all a dream’ right in our faces.
Sometimes this terrible plot twist idea can be forgiven. For example, The Wizard of Oz, where the characters want to believe it was all a dream but the reader themselves cannot be sure that it was.
Plot Twist Ideas That Will Shock and Infuriate Your Readers (don’t worry they’ll keep reading)
These plot twist idea types have the potential to take your readers on the ride of their lives, leaving them questioning everything they know and applauding your mastery.
Hmm…this is fishy
Chekhov’s gun, anagnorisis, false protagonist, what goes around comes around, story in reverse, eucatastrophe, no one is off limits, dead the whole time, the gift that keeps taking, it was, in fact, the main character the whole time, the great gasp-by, i don’t trust you, narrator.
This clearly suspicious person must have been the killer, right? Psych!
The author left the bait out in the open and the reader went straight for it.
Red Herrings are all about subtly misleading the reader to believe one thing to then reveal a dead end. You want to distract the reader while still keeping evidence of the truth around.
Agatha Christie was a master at adding red herrings to her books, And Then There Were None being a prime example. She used the Ten Little Indians poem to throw the characters off the scent while also pointing to the actual killer.
One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.
This means that the writer makes the reader aware of something and later reveals why it was important to know.
For example, in The Hunger Games , Suzanne Collins makes Katniss’ skill of spotting poisonous berries apparent, while also having a tense scene where Katniss goes off at Peeta for almost eating those berries.
Later, it comes in handy to secure double victors of the Hunger Games by tricking the Capitol.
This plot twist idea involves internal discovery. There is no physical or external change in the story. This usually comes before Peripeteia, which we’ll discuss next.
Anagnorisis is when the change in the story goes from ignorance to knowledge within a character.
A tragic example lies with the poor fellow Oedipus when he discovers who he really is. But we’ll dive more into his sad tale further, in Peripeteia.
Peripeteia means a sudden change in circumstance. This happens when a character is sealed on a certain path and a twist brings about a dramatic change.
To continue the rollercoaster ride being Oedipus’ story, Oedipus is fated to kill his father and marry his mother (yowzer, right?).
The peripeteia occurs at the same time as the anagnorisis once Oedipus realizes who raised him was not his biological parents and he has unknowingly killed his father and married his mother.
He fought against his fate, and it led to him fulfilling it.
The False Protagonist is the character the writer puts forward for the readers to assume is the main character. This character is usually killed off or left on the side-lines to make way for the real hero.
The most famous example is in A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin. The reader is led to believe for the entire book that Ned Stark is the series’ protagonist, only for him to be killed off at the end of the book.
Is it not satisfying when the antagonist gets what’s coming to them?
Poetic Justice can be seen as uncreative to just have the villain fall to his own doing. But we’re human, we want the wrongdoings to be corrected!
For example, Macbeth wanted to be King so badly that he murdered his cousin, Duncan, leading to his own eventual demise at the end.
Reverse Chronology is about telling a story from the point of action and working backwards to the cause. It’s a great way to keep readers on their toes.
Revealing information about the characters and the situation as you move back in time can create intrigue and drama.
Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis uses this plot twist idea well as he tells the story of Tod T. Friendly in reverse, revealing what the protagonist has been running from his whole life.
Without J.R.R.Tolkien we wouldn’t have the safety net that sits between the good guys and their demise.
Tolkien came up with Eucatastrophe , which is an abrupt change at the end of the story that saves the protagonist.
It may seem like we’re discussing Deus Ex Machina again but, Eucatastrophe fits into the narrative of a story and has some foreshadowing.
For the example we had to go with where this plot twist idea originated. When all may seem lost at the end of The Hobbit , Beorn arrives with the eagles to help the elves, dwarves and men turn the tide against the goblins and come out victorious.
When a character is well-written and you just know the readers love them…nothing could rip their hearts out more than killing that character off.
But be careful not to kill off characters too often as the readers will get frustrated or try not to engage with your characters at all.
Veronica Roth’s Allegiant goes where most YA books wouldn’t think to, killing the hero.
These are usually the mysteries where the main character is looking for a family member or a close friend, only for it to be revealed that they were dead the entire time.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart used this plot twist idea well as it left evidence of what happened to the characters during a fatal summer vacation. Some readers managed to figure out the plot twist but still felt the impact of the powerful ending.
See the world as it is, not as you wish it would be. E. Lockhart, We Were Liars
Nothing like a classic betrayal to leave jaws on the floor. An ally, or even the main character, can lie or double-cross to create conflict and tension that can really change the direction of the story.
Do you know what it feels like to fall in love with your best friend’s fiancé? Rachel does. In Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin , Rachel crosses the boundaries of the girl code and has an affair with Darcy’s partner.
It’s a romance novel so we expect, you know, some romance, but the real twist happens at the end when Darcy admits to betraying her fiancé before finding out about Rachel’s affair. The drama!
Using a flashback can be a fun way to reveal key information that flips the story upside down or flips the reader’s stomach.
It can be seen as cliché if it’s not plotted properly but it can really stick with you when it is.
A unique example would be the TV Show, How I Met Your Mother . The whole series is told with flashbacks, making the reveal of the mother and what happened to her all the more shocking (and controversial) at the end.
When the hero wished for a new strength, he never thought it would turn into his biggest weakness.
A good example of turning a gift into a curse is King Midas. Everything he touched turned to gold…even his daughter! The Greek sure know how to implement plot twist ideas.
The moral of this plot twist idea is, be careful what you wish for…or at least word it better.
This one is best explained with an example.
Can we do a plot twist ideas list without naming Fight Club ?
Although more critically acclaimed as a movie adaptation, the book, by Chuck Palahniuk, still provides a whirlwind twist that can descend the main character and reader into a bit of madness.
The premise is the nameless protagonist along with antagonist, Tyler, form a fight club. We would say more but… we don’t want to break the first rule.
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Murphy’s Law
Sometimes to come up with the best plot twist idea, you need to think of what will give the best shock factor. You have to wonder, “What if everything goes wrong?”
What will make the reader gasp out loud?
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, has some plot twists that leave readers intrigued about what the ending means in a real-world context and amazed by how the plot twist ideas were laid out.
Jay Gatsby tried so hard to be with the love of his life. But it ended with him being shot dead because the love of his life killed someone, and he took the blame.
The characters can do all the talking they want. They can lie, betray and murder.
But what about an unreliable narrator…can we trust them?
Are they telling us the truth? Does the narrator even have all the facts? Are they too young to know any better?
Or are they merely toying with us?
As the writer, you can summersault the story to reveal true intentions at the end or use the unreliable narrator to help you craft an even better plot twist idea down the line.
In a list of plot twist ideas, we can’t not mention Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn . The book has many plot twists revolving around the 2 unreliable narrators in husband-and-wife Nick and Amy.
Besides the initial twist that Amy takes over as narrator, oh and she’s actually not dead, the story unravels and takes the reader on an insane roller coaster ride.
Tips on How to Use a Killer Plot Twist Idea
What’s worse? Having the reader go, “Yup, saw that one coming.” or “Well, that just ruined the entire story.”
Correct! Both are truly awful, and you need to avoid those responses at all costs.
So, here’s some tips to make sure your plot twist ideas turn out epic:
- Consistency: Your plot twist idea must match up with the story, otherwise it won’t make any sense
- Unexpected: It’s not really a plot twist if everyone sees it coming, so make sure to write down your first plot twist ideas and throw them out or flip it so it’s no longer cliché
- Foreshadow: Give the reader subtle hints to your twist so it all ties in later and makes for a good second read. If you’re heavy handed with your hints then the reader will catch on, or worse, lose interest.
- Discovery: Let your characters stumble onto the plot twist naturally to make for an even juicier reveal. Remember, show and don’t tell!
- Work backwards: If you have the plot twist idea to end all other plot twist ideas then, work backwards from it to weave in your hints and evidence in the background of your story to make sure you cover all the ground you need to
- Let the plot twist idea come organically: Get to writing and let the plot twist idea come to you and surprise you. Then in a later draft, add in some foreshadowing.
- Be a magician: Some plot twist ideas can only be pulled off with some magic, and one of the biggest rules in magic is to misdirect the onlooker.
- Double whammy: The biggest shocker may come packaged in two, so after one plot twist idea is revealed, reveal another! The reader will be surprised by the first and reeling from the second.
- Take the reader on a rollercoaster: They’re not just for Disney world! Pair the plot twist ideas with intertwined emotions and action that will thrill the reader to no end.
- Keep the tension: Once the plot twist idea is exposed, don’t loosen the tension, keep the momentum of that scene going to have the reader clambering to turn the pages and find out how the story ends.
- Don’t go overboard: There can be too much of a good thing, and it applies to plot twist ideas too. It may be tempting to throw every good plot twist idea you have into your story, but it’ll exhaust, confuse and frustrate your reader and flood your book with complexity.
- Be the reader: When coming up with your zinger plot twist idea, think about it from your target reader’s perspective. If you feel like you can see it coming, they probably will too.
- Use Readers: It’ll be hard to stay objective at times, so it’s a great idea to bring beta readers or an alpha reader in to test your plot twist ideas on (just don’t tell them there is one, so they won’t look for it)
- Study: Read books with plot twists and make notes on why they worked and why you liked it.
- A little bit of realism : Sometimes people’s stories can serve as writing inspiration , and you can use that in your stories. Read articles about real people, listen to stories of people in your life, or even use your own experiences to come up with plot twist ideas.
- You can’t please them all: No matter how hard you try, someone will figure out your plot twist idea and that’s okay! You can’t win them all, so make sure the plot twist idea sits within a well written story and Plot Twist Finders should still stay on the journey till the end.
Story Devices To Use When You’re Stuck
You’re stuck and you don’t know where to go next to either discover your plot twist idea or bring it to fruition. Don’t fret, we have some story devices you could use to get you to the next act, or throw a spanner in the works and lead you to an even better story.
- Bring the Man With The Gun
Get fetchin’, glorious allegory, the cliffhanger, bring the man with the gun.
When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. Raymand Chandler
Need some conflict and action to get your characters scrambling? You know who to call (not ghostbusters).
If the main plot is drying up, try spicing it up with an action packed subplot that changes the perspective of the story or distracts from the main plot twist idea enough to catch your characters, and readers, off guard.
Ran out of ideas for a subplot that leads to the main plot? Send your characters on a fetch quest.
Maybe your whole story is about fetching the item, like in Lord of The Rings.
Or maybe this fetch quest crosses paths and changes the main quest’s purpose.
You know you want to mislead your readers, but how do you do it?
An Allegory helps to tie your story into a bigger meaning at the end, like with Life of Pi by Yann Martel. We’re so enthralled by the idea of Pi being on the boat with a tiger that we overlook the allegory that the zoo animals were actually people.
Or you could layer the allegory to add some perceptions, like George Orwell did with Animal Farm . You know who the animals represent, and it makes it an even better read.
Your story doesn’t have to end at all. Maybe the right move is to leave the door open for a sequel where you get to delve into what the plot twist idea means and how it changes everything.
Perhaps one of the biggest cliffhangers to date is the end of the 5 th book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series as fans have been waiting for the 6 th entry for over a decade.
Writer’s block is no joke!
Books To Check Out If You’re Looking For More Plot Twist Ideas
Looking to read up on some books famous for their twists and turns? We’ve got you covered:
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- The Light Between The Ocean by M.L. Stedman
- Maze Runner by James Dashner
- Lost Ground by Michiel Heyns
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Couple Next Door By Shari Lapena
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- More Than This by Patrick Ness
- Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard
Biggest Plot Twist of All
Every author needs a website! We’re sure all your social media platforms, for example Facebook Author Page , are great and effective but if you want to get more readers and more opportunities as an author, you need a website.
We love helping authors reach new heights with custom, user-friendly Author Website designs. Enquire by filling in this form and we’ll be happy to assist! No plot twists!
How To Write a Compelling Book Blurb (+15 Examples)
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101 Short Story Ideas (Many With a Twist): Writing Prompts & Inspiration
- Post author: Neel Rana
- Post published: March 6, 2022
- Post category: Writing Prompts
Are you thinking about writing a short story and looking for story ideas or inspiration for your story? Then, you are at the right place as we have created some great short story ideas, and many with a twist to let you start writing right now.
Related: 101 Flash Fiction Writing Prompts
Whether you are a beginner or a published writer, we all sometimes need the inspiration to spark our imagination and turn it into a full-fledged story of our own.
So reading story ideas and writing prompts are a great way to help you brainstorm and expand your imagination in creative writing.
Below is the list of hundred great short story ideas to inspire and tickle your imagination to start writing right now.
You can use these story ideas as an inspiration for your short story, novel, novella, flash fiction, or as a writing prompt for any writing competition.
Related: 101 Horror Story Ideas (With a Twist)
101 Short Story Ideas (Many With a Twist)-
– A character could see the dreams of anyone sleeping nearby him.
– A character who is an introvert teen has no friend, and can talk to cats.
– A character found his missing uncle’s secret diary with a note on how to find him .
– A stranger sold your character a magical pill.
– An orphaned boy searching for his parents finds out that he doesn’t belong on this planet.
-A character has two best friends, but one loves her and she doesn’t know.
-A character finds out that their parents were not his actual parents and they had been hired by a billionaire to foster him.
-A character finds out that he is just a character living in a computer simulation.
– A man living as a paying guest turned out to be dead years ago.
– A family of adventurers decided to go on a boat trip to a mysterious island.
-A character finds out that her husband has a twin brother and they both were secretly living with her.
-A group of scientists secretly made a device that could teleport people into anyone’s body.
-A psycho date strangers and kills them on their birthdays.
-A character found billion of dollars credited into his account by a stranger.
– On an expedition to a cave, the archaeologist finds a wooden box filled with a strange glowing jelly that was alive.
-A boy started liking the new girl in her class, but soon she left the school.
-One day, the sun suddenly disappeared.
-A psycho college student fell in love with her professor and started stalking him.
-One day, the gravity of earth decreased and people started levitating away in space.
-A man started writing his everyday dreams and ended up writing a bestseller.
-A character wakes up a decade before in time and gets a chance to correct all his mistakes done in the past.
-A stranger knocked on the door of a person at night asking for help but soon your character found the stranger standing in his home.
-A character gets stuck in a time loop and has to live the same moment again and again until he finds the way out.
-The people of the country are unaware that their president is killed and their government is ruled by a secret organization through a look-alike of the dead president.
-A character was driving his car in the rain when the lightning struck him and he found himself in another world.
-A character looking at his old pictures finds out that his sister is adopted.
-A character finds more than a hundred gold bricks hidden underneath his basement.
-A character bought an expensive painting from an auction, but at night he found, it has been not just a painting.
-A boy fell asleep in his class and woke up at midnight.
-It was the character’s first kiss in the backyard at sixteen.
-A character who has no friends in real life created an imaginary friend in his mind, but soon he started seeing him in real life.
-A character is left behind by his trekking group on a trip.
-A character had died in an avalanche, but he again found himself waking up in his bed on the same day.
-A character decided to only lie about everything and see where it takes his life.
-A character was walking on the beach at night when he sank in the sand and found himself in a different place.
-A character was on a train trip when finds that the woman sitting next to him was his school crush.
-A character returns home and finds a note, “take care of yourself and your little sister as we may not come back”.
-A character suddenly forgets everything he had learned before his exam.
-A character was getting married the next day when he found out that her fiance fled the country without giving any reason.
-A character finds out that a drone was following him everywhere.
-A character builds an AI which could catch the murderer using all the data related to the case.
-A character meets an old friend and finds out that she had a child with him.
-A character got late to catch his school bus and instead of returning home he went to a fair.
-A character was watching TV when he accidentally tuned a channel where he finds the characters started talking to him.
-It was a clear, warm day when lightning struck and many giant humans appeared.
-A character found an old diary in his backyard, which contained the location of secret treasures.
-A character was going to visit his grandpa when a cute girl sat next to him on the train.
-A character returns home and finds a girl sitting in his room. He asked his mom, who said she’s her friend’s daughter who is out of the country for a week so she will be staying here.
-A character was having fun on the beach when she found a magic ring left by the shore.
-A character continuously started getting deja-vu when he visited her new apartment.
-A team of scientists finally finds out what had existed before the big bang.
-A character falls in love with his new online friend, who is from a newly discovered planet thousand light-years away.
-A huge storm was approaching the city and the character’s daughter was alone at home.
-A character is an army officer, who knows he will not return alive from his secret mission.
-A character finds that he is soon going to be a dad and he has lost his job.
-A character’s boat sank and everyone thinks he was dead, but he got stuck on a deserted island with his dog.
-A character was sipping his everyday drink in the bar when a stranger approached and gave him a card printed with a strange address.
-A secret ancient civilization was living deep underneath the earth’s surface until one day a deep mining company looking for gold found them.
-A family of three living in an abandoned place was about to welcome an unexpected neighbour.
-A character is invited to join a secret society.
-On a cold winter day, suddenly many planets started appearing near the earth in the sky.
-On a summer day, people wake up and got shocked to see heavy snowfall.
– A group of scientists created a room where people from different dimensions started appearing.
– Two newlywed couples were on their honeymoon vacation when in the hotel they overheard a murder conspiracy by the president of the country.
– A character is living his daily normal life when one day an old friend knocks on his door and says that they have found out his location and are coming for him.
-In haste, a character picks up the wrong luggage, at the airport and was shocked to see what’s inside.
-A psycho man spread a virus in the world which was turning every person blind, but he has the cure which your character has to find out.
-One day, all the colors in the world disappeared, except the white.
-A character is an AI robot working as a teacher in a school where no one is aware of it, except the principal.
-A character comes from a strange family but he tells everyone that he is an orphan.
-A character never brings or lets any of his friends enter his house which contains a peculiar truth.
-A group of scientists finds out a way to escape death and old age, but it comes with a deadly price.
-A character who volunteered for a scientific experiment turned into a giant being.
-A group of scientists created a superhuman.
-A character is fed up with being bullied by his classmates until one day everyone saw her singing.
-A character whom nobody takes on their football team.
-A character who is obsessed with a group of cool kids of the university and does everything to get into that group.
-A character hacked all his teachers’ phones.
-A character is having a night out at her friend’s house when she finds out that her family is hiding a dark secret.
-A character is a school teacher and hates his job.
-A character went to a common friend’s house party where he got into big trouble.
-A character’s dream is to become a chef, but her parents want her to pursue their family’s profession.
-A character starts liking his friend’s girlfriend and soon finds that she too has the same feelings for him.
-A character wanted to become a famous writer, but he only received rejections until one-day things changed.
-A character dropouts from his university when he gets a revolutionary idea.
-A character is involved in some suspicious activity and trying hard to hide it from his father, who is a police officer.
-A character is the owner of a big company, but someone from the company knows what is he running behind.
-A character finds a way to earn money fast, but later gets into big trouble.
-A character’s childhood friend becomes a huge celebrity and now he’s looking for her.
-A character has to decide whether to leave his comfortable life and accept the invitation of teaching as an English teacher in another nation.
-A character works as a zookeeper, but the owner has asked him to leave to cut down some expenses, but the character has got attached to the animals.
-In the future, a company started selling levitating houses in the sky, but one day they all started falling.
-A character’s divorced mother is getting married, but the character thinks that the man is not the right choice.
-Today is the character’s daughter’s birthday and he missed the last flight.
-A character returns home and finds his family missing.
-A character is a single mother looking for a perfect dad for her two children.
-A character is in huge debt, but later finds out that a stranger paid all his debt.
-In the future, a character lives on mars but returns to earth to find something important.
-A billionaire finds that someone stole all his bitcoins.
-A character escapes from a prison abroad, where he was held, being innocent.
-A character visited by a women who claims that he is her son whom she had left in an orphanage.
Related: 101 Fantasy Story Ideas
Watch this below informative video by Ted-Ed on how to write great fiction.
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