A plot twist is a shocking or unexpected revelation in a work of fiction, forcing the reader to reconsider what they thought they knew about the story.\n\nWhen used effectively, plot twists can form the basis of a killer story. If executed poorly, though, a plot twist may turn into a story killer. Here, then, are a few tips to help you create a stunning plot twist.\n1. Exclude the Obvious\nThink of an ending so unexpected that even seasoned readers would not predict it. A useful tip while plotting your story is to brainstorm a list of obvious narrative turns. Once you have identified the obvious plot points, subvert one by doing something different. Remember, an effective plot twist doesn\u2019t always have to be explosive; a small spark can be just as effective.\n2. Avoid Clich\u00e9s\nSome twists are so overused they are no longer surprising. Don\u2019t disappoint the reader with an anti-climactic clich\u00e9, such as \u201cGrahame woke up and realized it was all just a dream!\u201d Instead, look at what other people have done before and try to work out an original take or twist.\n3. Foreshadowing\nForeshadowing is a key component in setting up a plot twist. It involves planting subtle clues within the narrative, e.g., in the emotion or action of another event within the story. First time through, the reader may not realize the significance of these clues. But after the plot twist is revealed, they should be able to look back at them and see the hints they missed.\n\nYou may also want to include a red herring or two somewhere (i.e., things that seem like clues but actually misdirect readers).\n\n[caption id="attachment_11070" align="aligncenter" width="358"] It was the fish that did it![\/caption]\n\nFor instance, if you were writing a murder mystery, you might have a side characters spotted on the night of the murder (even if they're not the killer). This can keep your reader guessing, adding tension to the story and making the twist more surprising when it turns up.\n\nBut don\u2019t plant too many false clues, as they can be frustrating if overdone!\n4. Maintain Momentum\nWhen planning a plot twist mid-story, make sure the narrative doesn\u2019t lose momentum after the revelation. This can be difficult, as you may have focused on building up to this moment. But you need to keep the reader interested in the rest of the story, so make sure the twist also progresses the story and creates intrigue for what will happen next.\n5. Test the Twist\nOnce you have written a first draft, you may want to seek feedback from a reader. Questions you could ask include:\n\n \tDid they see the plot twist coming?\n \tWas there enough foreshadowing to make the twist satisfying?\n \tWas the plot twist both believable and compelling?\n\nAfter you\u2019ve done this, think about whether you can improve the twist while redrafting. And don\u2019t forget to have your manuscript proofread once you have a final draft, as we can help you prepare for publication.