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  1. Audio Editions
  2. The Art of the Twist Ending | CrimeReads
  3. Thrilling Characters: How to Create Twists and Turns in Your Novel

My kills had been righteous, after all. For the greater good.

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The battle where the good had to do bad to win. These thoughts all raced around my mind, bouncing off the walls and sending reverberations through my soul, in two sticky blinks of my crusty eyes. I continued blinking as my other senses shucked off slumber and attempted to tune in to the waking world. My eyes gave me nothing.

Literally nothing. They funneled no information through my optic nerves and into my brain. They just reported black, like a television without power. Was that it? Had someone or something used a drug to pull the plug? To chemically sever a connection? It took a different turn because my ears were also off-kilter. Strain as I might, I heard nothing beyond my own biology—and the breathing of others. Not a sound. No passing cars or chirping crickets.

No humming appliances or rustling leaves. Beyond the breathing, my auditory world was also dead. But the breathing was enough, enough to know that my system was online, while somehow, some way, the rest of the world was turned off. My nose reported next, and it flooded my flummoxed brain with joy. The otherwise stale air held a familiar fresh, floral scent that never failed to warm my heart and lift my mood. As I shifted my position to reach for her head, my kinesthetic awareness kicked in. I was resting in a three-quarter prone position, with my legs bent and interlocked and my head braced by both arms.

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It was close to a standard sleeping posture, but a bit too awkward and precise to be casual. The alignment even had a name. Recovery position was used by medical professionals and knowledgeable laymen to prevent unconscious people from choking due to a closed or obstructed airway. The ensuing conclusion was inescapable.

Bronze Tango: Natural Twist Turn

Like a piece of furniture, I had been arranged. I reached slowly toward the scent, at once eager and hesitant, longing yet fearful of what I might find. I felt nothing. Nothing but thin air, rising adrenaline and a dropping stomach. Propping myself up on an elbow, I became aware that I was lying on a floor rather than a mattress. A hardwood floor. I extended my hand further toward the sweet scent and found my reward a few inches later.

Silky soft strands with a slight curl. Her body was warm, her chest rising, her heart beating. She, too, had been situated in the recovery position.

The Art of the Twist Ending | CrimeReads

Probably residual programming, written in the lizard brain to keep us safe at night. In the film The Others , a mother is convinced that her house is being haunted; at the end of the film, she learns that she and her children are really the ghosts. In the episode of The Twilight Zone titled " Five Characters in Search of an Exit ", the viewer discovers at the climax that the characters are discarded toys in a donation bin.

A mental patient in the horror film The Ward reveals that the three persons she is talking to are all actually herself. Sometimes the audience may discover that the true identity of a character is, in fact, unknown, as in Layer Cake or the eponymous assassins in V for Vendetta and The Day of the Jackal. Flashback , or analepsis, a sudden, vivid reversion to a past event. The Alfred Hitchcock film Marnie employed this type of surprise ending.

Sometimes this is combined with the above category, as the flashback may reveal the true identity of one of the characters, or that the protagonist is related to one of the villain's past victims, as Sergio Leone did with Charles Bronson 's character in Once Upon a Time in the West or Frederick Forsyth 's The Odessa File. An unreliable narrator twists the ending by revealing, almost always at the end of the narrative, that the narrator has manipulated or fabricated the preceding story, thus forcing the reader to question their prior assumptions about the text.

An unreliable narrator motif was employed by Agatha Christie in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd , a novel that generated much controversy due to critics' contention that it was unfair to trick the reader in such a manipulative manner. Peripeteia is a sudden reversal of the protagonist's fortune, whether for good or ill, that emerges naturally from the character's circumstances.

An example of a reversal for ill would be Agamemnon 's sudden murder at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra in Aeschylus ' The Oresteia or the inescapable situation Kate Hudson 's character finds herself in at the end of The Skeleton Key. This type of ending was a common twist ending utilised by The Twilight Zone , most effectively in the episode " Time Enough at Last " where Burgess Meredith 's character is robbed of all his hope by a simple but devastating accident with his glasses.

A positive reversal of fortune would be Nicholas Van Orton's suicide attempt after mistakenly believing himself to have accidentally killed his brother, only to land safely in the midst of his own birthday party, in the film The Game. Deus ex machina is a Latin term meaning "god from the machine.

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The term is now used pejoratively for any improbable or unexpected contrivance by which an author resolves the complications of the plot in a play or novel, and which has not been convincingly prepared for in the preceding action; the discovery of a lost will was a favorite resort of Victorian novelists.

A red herring is a false clue intended to lead investigators toward an incorrect solution.

The red herring is a type of misdirection , a device intended to distract the protagonist , and by extension the reader, away from the correct answer or from the site of pertinent clues or action. The Indian murder mystery film Gupt: The Hidden Truth cast many veteran actors who had usually played villainous roles in previous Indian films as red herrings in this film to deceive the audience into suspecting them. In the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code , the misdeeds of a key character named "Bishop Aringarosa" draw attention away from the true master villain "Aringarosa" literally translates as "pink herring".

In the William Diehl novel Primal Fear also adapted into a film , a defendant named Aaron Stampler is accused of brutally murdering the Archbishop of Chicago. He is revealed to have a dissociative identity disorder , and is not executed on plea of insanity. Near the end, Aaron's lawyer discovers that he feigned his insanity to avoid the death penalty. Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None is another famous example and includes the term as well in a murder ploy where the intended victims are made to guess that one of them will be killed through an act of treachery.

A red herring can also be used as a form of false foreshadowing. A false protagonist is a character presented at the start of the story as the main character, but then disposed of, usually killing them. An example is the film Executive Decision , in which the special-forces team leader, played by highly-billed action star Steven Seagal , is killed shortly after their mission begins. Another instance is Psycho ' s Marion Crane portrayed by Janet Leigh , who is brutally murdered early in the film.

Thrilling Characters: How to Create Twists and Turns in Your Novel

A non-linear narrative works by revealing plot and character in non-chronological order. A twist ending can occur as the result of information that is held until the climax and which places characters or events in a different perspective. Some of the earliest known uses of non-linear story telling occur in The Odyssey , a work that is largely told in flashback via the narrator Odysseus. The Aeneid , another epic poem , uses a similar approach; it begins with the main protagonist, Aeneas , telling stories about the end of the Trojan War and the first half of his journey to Dido , queen of Carthage.

Reverse chronology works by revealing the plot in reverse order, i. Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along and the Kaufman and Hart play that inspired it both tell the story of the main characters in reverse order. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Conrad; Janna Wong Healy 1 August Filmmaker's dictionary. Lone Eagle Pub. Retrieved 27 July