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Is this a good rule when it comes to writing twists? (1 Viewer)

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ironpony

Senior Member
For a screenplay I wrote, I was told that some of the main character's decisions making doesn't make sense, and the readers assume it's a plot hole or that it's illogical. But it's not until a twist later is revealed that it makes sense, because in order to hide the twist, I had to hide the MC's motivations for some of his actions.

But I was told not to do this as readers will just assume it's a plot hole or illogical actions of the MC, and will probably stop reading because of it. I see their point, and all actions have to be logical perhaps so the readers will not be taken out of it. Therefore, perhaps I should reveal the twist earlier on, so the reader understands the MC's actions, and motivation behind them.

So I was wondering, is it a good rule of thumb, or guideline, for if you are going to have a twist saved for later on, only do the twist, if a character does not have to do any actions based on that twist prior to the twist being revealed... Otherwise it will result in assumed illogical character actions.

Is that a good rule to write by, or am I being too black and white about that perhaps? Thank you for any advice on it! I really appreciate it!
 

Kimoco

Senior Member
I would say, is there a way you could hint that its not illogical, but still withstand the reason why he's doing X action. And keep your plot twist? I would try to work my way around it as a writer, but as a reader; if the rest of the story is interesting, I wouldnt stop reading just because of one thing bothering me, or else I would never read anything.
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
I don't know what rules a screen play follows but novel wise, thinking of Sherlock Holmes, it would be the norm.
 

Gamer_2k4

WF Veterans
It's one thing to write a story with elements that are hard or impossible to understand until the twist comes - that's what makes the twist satisfying. It's another to write a story that actively fights understanding and requires suspension of disbelief until the twist sets it right. You seem to have done the latter.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh okay, that makes sense. How does one avoid the second one and do the first one instead or any advice on that?
 

Willmatron

Senior Member
Personally I think we need to see clues to the twist coming. I watched the French movie High Tension and it's twist came out it didn't make any sense.

For stories set in the modern world I've thought of a gag of having people watch a movie with a twist ending and have the ending make no sense what so ever, as in the killer of the movie is actually an established victim of the killer.
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
For a screenplay I wrote, I was told that some of the main character's decisions making doesn't make sense, and the readers assume it's a plot hole or that it's illogical. But it's not until a twist later is revealed that it makes sense, because in order to hide the twist, I had to hide the MC's motivations for some of his actions.

But I was told not to do this as readers will just assume it's a plot hole or illogical actions of the MC, and will probably stop reading because of it. I see their point, and all actions have to be logical perhaps so the readers will not be taken out of it. Therefore, perhaps I should reveal the twist earlier on, so the reader understands the MC's actions, and motivation behind them.

So I was wondering, is it a good rule of thumb, or guideline, for if you are going to have a twist saved for later on, only do the twist, if a character does not have to do any actions based on that twist prior to the twist being revealed... Otherwise it will result in assumed illogical character actions.

Is that a good rule to write by, or am I being too black and white about that perhaps? Thank you for any advice on it! I really appreciate it!
To me, that might be a little too much like withholding info, if you are hiding motivations. Does the main character know about the twist, or does that come as a surprise to him? If they do know, then it might be better to reveal it earlier, and do something else with the story - maybe you could keep the character ignorant. Otherwise the essence of the twist becomes "I know something you don't know". If you need to stick with that, then maybe the narrative / POV character could be unreliable, but again they would have to be known to be unreliable, in other words that unreliability would have to be revealed sooner.
 
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