(reblogged from Kristen Lamb)
Okay so on Monday I talked about 3 Mistakes that Will Make Readers Want to Punch a Book in the Face. One of the mistakes involved the twist ending. Very often a writer believes she has written a twist when in fact, it is NOT a twist at all, it is a twerk.
Twisting the reader? YES. Twerking the reader? NO.
You’ve heard the literary term MacGuffin? For the sake of a simple analogy, I’m adding a new one and it is called a MacGyver .
How is a MacGyver a twist?
We know MacGyver is in a bad spot and he has two choices. The obvious one. A gun. Blast his way out. Or he has is det-cord, glitter, and coffee stirrers.
OMG! How can he ever survive?
MacGuyver uses what he is given and fashions the glitter, det-cord and coffee stirrers into a small incendiary device that creates the right distraction for escape. How? Because he paid attention in science class and knows that the components that make up glitter include copolymer plastics, aluminum foil, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides. He also knows the burn rate of det-cord and the tensile strength of coffee stirrers.
The cheap ones. Not the good ones we steal from Starbuck’s.
Using his knowledge and resources in his possession, he creates the “event.”
This is how a twist and MacGyver are a lot alike.
A twist cannot happen unless the elements are there, provided by the writer either all at once or over the span of the story.
Also, all of MacGyver’s solutions come organically from who he is. We KNOW he is a geek who rocks at applied science, so it is no surprise that he fashions a glitter bomb. He doesn’t suddenly develop a skill set he never before possessed. His solutions are are not predictable, but they are always logical.
Twisting is not twerking. Readers LOVE a twist. Twerking just pisses them off….and makes them feel dirty.