What are plot twists in storytelling?

Let's briefly go over what are plot twists in storytelling.

What is a Plot Twist?

A literary device that has been around for a long time is a plot twist. The purpose of plot twists is to surprise the audience and give them something they weren't expecting from the story.

To understand a plot twist well, it is not necessary to have a strong background in literature. If you are a person who watches a lot of movies or reads a lot of books, you are likely familiar with at least one plot twist. Thousands upon thousands of books and movies contain twists in the plot.

The plot twist could be something relatively minor, such as the main character having a different personality than they had led on, or something significantly more significant, such as the main character being someone entirely different — or even dead!

Examples Of Plot Twist In Films

Films can have a lot of success with plot twists because they are the most memorable movie moments. However, they can also be extremely humorous, tragic, or even sad sometimes.

When a twist in the plot is particularly unexpected, it has the potential to alter the entire tone of a movie.

How exactly does a twist in the plot work? It typically takes place in the latter part of the film. A well-done twist in the plot will cause you to reassess your impression of the whole story and force you to look at the events from a fresh perspective.

Here are some examples:

(1) In the movie The Sixth Sense, there is a moment when it is revealed that everything that has been taking place up until that point has been a product of Malcolm's imagination (it happened before he was born).

Likewise, in (2) Memento when it is revealed that Teddy murdered his wife despite suffering from short-term memory loss.

(3) The Prestige, in which it is revealed that Angier's wife was not killed by Borden but rather became comatose after an attempt on her life orchestrated by Angier to gain Borden as an enemy (it is revealed at the end that Borden himself was responsible for the death of his wife).

In The Prestige, Angier's wife was not killed by Borden but rather became comatose after an attempt on her life orchestrated by Angier to gain Borden

Examples of Plot Twist In Books

The Crow Road by Iain Banks:

This book contains what is arguably the most well-known example of a plot twist ever written. The events of the first part of the story begin with the passing away of a man while he is sleeping, after which his loved ones gather together in grief.

As the plot develops, we discover that he was killed and that the person who did it is a member of his own family.

why-are-plot-twists-important-in-storytelling-What are plot twists in storytelling

The novel The Sixth Sense by Audrey Schulman:

The story from this book was turned into a movie starring Bruce Willis. However, the book was much better than the movie, and the main reason is that the movie did not include all of the components in the book.

You will not know who is alive and who has died until you have finished reading this book, making it one of the best examples of how a plot can take unexpected turns.

The book The Prestige, written by Christopher Priest:

In this book, two different magicians compete and try to ruin each other's performances.

Examples Of Plot Twist In Pop Culture

In movies, novels, and short stories, unexpected turns of events are commonplace.

The following are some examples of plot twists that can be found in popular culture:

The Sixth Sense

The surprising revelation that the film's main character had been dead the whole time has made "The Sixth Sense" one of the most talked about movies of all time. As a result, the film was awarded both the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original screenplay).

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

In the fifth episode of the Star Wars series, the Empire Strikes Back, the film's conclusion also includes a plot twist. It is revealed that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's biological father. Most viewers were taken aback by this revelation because, throughout the movie, Darth Vader was portrayed as the film's antagonist.


Upon its release, Alfred Hitchcock's film was heralded as one of the director's finest achievements.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.


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