How to Set Up a Twist Without Giving Too Much Away

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

@mercblues asks:

I asked:

“SIXTH SENSE” SPOILER ALERT

I replied:

You’re very welcome, Amy!

2 Comments on “How to Set Up a Twist Without Giving Too Much Away”

  1. You should also notice that the clues aren’t delivered in the same scene. Introduce things in different chapters.

    Suppose you intend to introduce a superstorm as your twist. Try and offhand comment: “We always have calm weather in Littleville” in chapter one. In chapter four, yYour MC glances over the headlines, including, “Scientist claims supercells could form in the midwest.”

    Shortly before the storm, a conversation:

    MC: Maybe you should take your umbrella. It smells like rain.
    Friend: I heard it on the radio, sunny with clear skies for the next week. He’s never wrong.

  2. I usually break a “set-up”statement into the elements that form the whole so that the reader/viewer must assemble the pieces of the set-up themselves. This gets them into the story on a more personal level as they decipher the clue(s).An easy, but in-your-face example would be a character putting chemicals together over several scenes and finally realizing the combination is a bomb. Add a time constraint and you’ll have some great Hitchcockian suspense.

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