6 Great Plot Twists Ideas and Examples

When it comes to writing a great story, one of the most important components is a great plot twist. The plot twist is particularly important because it is meant to shock the reader. 

It is meant to act as a transition period for the story as well. So if you want your writing to be as immersive as possible, you should know how to use plot twists in your writing. 

Here are 6 great plot twist ideas and examples that you could use in your work:

  • The hero was working for the villain all along

This plot twist idea is all about making the audience believe that the protagonist was aligned with a beneficent group, only for the group to turn out evil later on. The protagonist and the audience are usually blown away by this revelation. This discovery soon prompts the protagonist, to run away from the organization or take it down from within

Example: 

The protagonist is working for a pharmaceutical company dedicated to curing a dangerous new disease. He later finds out that the disease was engineered by the company all along.

  • The protagonist was dead all along

The main concept of this plot twist, is to have the audience believe that the protagonist is a living and breathing person, only to be revealed later, that he or she was dead all along.

Example:

The protagonist is tasked with capturing a killer, who has killed multiple people. He conducts a manhunt for the killer, alongside a strange new partner. They soon catch the killer, but it is soon revealed to the protagonist that his partner is a psychic who can see dead people, and he himself is already dead. The protagonist was killed by the serial killer during an earlier tussle, and he is fulfilling unfinished business before he crosses over to the other side.

  • The mentor is the protagonist’s future self

This plot twist entails you to create a mentor character who helps the protagonist throughout most of the events in the story. The mentor seems to know the key aspects of the protagonist’s life. The mentor also seems to know key traits of the protagonist’s family.

The audience is led to believe that the mentor is either a long lost parent, or an old family friend. Later on, the mentor is revealed to be the protagonist’s future self, who goes back in time to change key events in the past.

Example: 

The protagonist is faced with a moral dilemma. He just found out a big bag of money, and he wonders whether to keep it or turn it over to the authorities. He decides to keep the money and live a life of luxury. An old man approaches him a few moments later. He seems to know the protagonist very well, and cautions the protagonist not to keep the money. It is later revealed that the old man is in truth the protagonist’s future self, and he is trying to stop his younger self from going down a path of self-destruction.  

  • The shock value

This plot twist is all about shocking the audience in the most intense way possible. This means killing the main character in the first few chapters of the story, or having an unforeseen and unbelievable event come to pass. When it comes to shock value, the more abruptly the event happens, the better it will be.

Example:

The story is set during the First World War. It follows a group of British soldiers who are sent in to retake a trench from the enemy. One character in particular is considerably the most important in the story. He has the most connections to the other characters, and he seems to be the hero of the story. However, as the operation commences, he is abruptly torn to shreds by machine gun fire. This abrupt death would usually have the audience wondering who the real main character is.

  • Is this the real world?

The main intent of this plot twist, is to have the audience wonder whether the events in the story are real, or if it is all an illusion that the protagonist’s mind came up with.

Example:

The protagonist is a 90-year old man, who in the last few moments of his life is given the chance to go to an alternate world and live life as a young man again. He takes the chance and goes on many grand adventures and lives the life he has always wanted. He lives a full life in that alternate world and dies a happy man. At the end of the story, though, his consciousness is brought back to start of the story. He is still a 90-year old man, on the verge of death. So the main question arises. Did he really go on that adventure? Or was it the last thoughts of a man on the verge of death?

  • Who is the real antagonist?

This particular plot twist is meant to make the audience wonder who the real antagonist of the story is. In the early parts of the story, there is a character that is undoubtedly an antagonist. 

However, as the story continues the real antagonist slowly surfaces, and it is someone the audience will never expect.

Example:

A young man spends his days training and preparing for the day he gets to exact revenge on his mortal enemy. His best friend was shot in the head by the town bully, and the protagonist means to get his revenge. One stormy night, he strikes and kills the town bully. He is happy that he avenged his friend. Once he gets home, he is told by his brother that the town bully was not responsible for his best friend’s death. The one responsible is the town sheriff, who framed the town bully for his crime. It seems the young man took out the wrong person, and now has to deal with the consequences of the crime he committed.

If you are thinking of writing a great story, you should know how use the unexpected to both surprise and entertain your audience. This is where plot twists come in handy. By using these plot twist ideas, you will be able to give your writing a sense of flair and unpredictability.

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