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9 Great Plot Twist Ideas for Writers

9 plot twist ideas for writers

As a writer, you always want to keep your readers on their toes, anticipating what will come next. Plot twists are the perfect way to catch your reader off-guard and have them wondering what will happen next on each page. There are a few key things that make up an impactful plot twist in a storyline. Slight foreshadowing will spike your reader’s interest, and the most crucial part of your plot twists are using them sparingly to avoid reducing the impact on the reader. In this article, you will learn nine plot twist ideas that will enhance your skills as a writer.

The Protagonist Was the Villian

In a story between good versus evil, you follow the protagonist of the story while they are looking to defeat the supposedly evil villain of the story. In this plot twist idea, the protagonist, who is good at the beginning of the story, turns out to be the villain all along. This plot twist will have the reader of your story second-guessing the entire story, only to put the pieces together that these signs of evil where right in front of their eyes the whole time.

A Traitor Among the Group

In this plot twist idea, a close group member who acts on the good side of the story is suddenly revealed to be a traitor. The member of the group reveals themselves near the climax of the story when the main characters have finally come face-to-face with the villain of the story. To execute this plot twist idea, you will need to showcase a friendly relationship between the main characters and the traitor of the group. The revealing of the traitor will blindside the reader, making them wonder how the traitor could do such a thing.

False Reality as one of Plot Twist Ideas

As you are finishing off the story, your reader has expected everything that has happened in your story so far. In this plot twist idea, the storyline that your protagonist had gone through is revealed to be a figment of the main character’s imagination. This plot twist idea creates a sense of suspicion in the reader’s own life after the reveal of this in-depth story being fake. This plot twist idea is typically used based on the protagonist revealed to have a mental illness, or it was all a dream.

Alliance With the Enemy

As the protagonist of the story seems to have lost the battle between the enemy, a plot twist occurs where the protagonist teams up with the enemy to defeat a bigger enemy. In this unexpected plot twist idea, the reader does not expect the protagonist to team-up with the enemy; they had been fighting the majority of the story. However, the introduction of a bigger and new enemy leaves these two no choice but to join together and fight to win this battle.

Becoming Unrecognizable

In this plot twist idea, the protagonist attempts to visit their long-time friends and family members, but they don’t seem to know who the protagonist is. This plot twist will have the reader wondering why the protagonist has become unrecognizable to their closest friends and family members. Some examples of reasons why this occurred could be an alternative universe, the relatives are purposely trying to ignore the main character or false memories that become revealed to the reader.

Character Never Died

When a character dies in a story, the reader assumes that the character will not be coming back into the story as they are presumed dead. As the reader continues throughout the story, they have read enough of the story and forgotten the character that had died. In a turn of events, the character had not died and recovered fully. To properly execute this plot twist idea, you will need to write enough to create the assumption that the dead character will never come back. Once the reader has no more hopes that the character will come back, that is when you incorporate this plot twist into your storyline.

Artificial Setting

When the reader is reading your story, they assume that your protagonist is in a natural environment. As you navigate through your storyline, the protagonist starts to feel as if something is not right. It is revealed at the climax of the story that the protagonist is all a part of an artificial setting, such as an experiment. Once these bizarre circumstances become apparent to the protagonist, the main character must find a way to break out of this environment. You can use a variety of reasons as to why this artificial setting was created to best match your storyline.

A Closed Room Can Also Be a Plot Twist Idea

During the story, your protagonist notices a room that cannot be opened and becomes very curious about what this secret room holds inside. This plot twist idea uses foreshadowing to have the reader anticipating what will be located in that closed room later in the story. At the climax of the story, your protagonist receives the key that opens up this secret closed room and becomes stunned at what they find inside. This plot twist can be very customizable to your story but is a very impactful method to have your reader curious and then surprised at the revelation of what that room held at the climax of the story.

The Storyline Isn’t Over

In this final plot twist idea, the writer has created the assumption that the story has ended, only to surprise them with an additional storyline that can use a variety of themes. One of the most common topics when using this plot twist idea is the protagonist getting revenge on the person who created the assumption that this story was coming to an end. This method works best for those who are writing online due to the ability not to know the page count of a book online. In physical books, the reader can see that there are still pages to be read, ruining the suspense of this plot twist.

Can you add any other good plot twist ideas to the list? Share them in the comments!