Fellow readers and writers, how do we feel about big plot twists?
I’ve recently read a couple of books that had big, ‘da-da’ reveals, and in both cases I just wanted to throw the book across the room. You know the kind of thing – ‘Oh, it was her all along’ or ‘Wow, it was the guy on the train, didn’t see that coming’ or whatever. The rug is pulled out from under the reader.
I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it, maybe it was just these specific cases, but they felt kind of cheap, I guess, unearned, somehow. Like cheating. I dunno. Do you know what I mean or is it just me?
I’m not having a go at people who read or write these books, and they undoubtedly take a lot of skill, writerly skill that I just don’t have I think. I guess that sort of thing is just not for me. There’s plenty of room in the world for all kinds of books, so I guess I’m just wondering what the appeal is for folk who like em?
Sorry, this is a bit rambling. Been thinking about it a lot as I’ve been writing a first draft recently. I keep having ideas for big twists, but I haven’t put them in. Maybe it’s just if they’re embedded in the story and the characters properly, then they would work, but I rarely feel that when I come across a book like that.
So, in summary, how do we feel about big plot twists?