Guest Post: Stories With A Twist

Today I have a guest post by Heather. Here she talks about the twists and turns that make a story great and exciting! Enjoy!

Stories with a Twist
by Heather Smith

You know, lately I have been re-watching M. Night Shyamalan’s movies and I figured out why they appeal to me so much. I like a story that is less explosive action and more storyline. I also love the twist. You know; the one you can almost see coming but not quite. Suspense, to me, is much preferable to shock.

Now, what makes Night’s (easier to spell!) movies appealing to me is the darkness contrasted with the light. In all of his films it seems that, even though the topic might be really dark and scary, he keeps it light with just the right blend of humor and hope. I think that is something that all writers should strive to do in their stories. We all love the grit and drama, but too much will start to wear you out. Having balance in stories is really essential.

Another thing I think writers should mimic is the surprise twist. Now, I don’t think it should come completely out of left field (like a couple of Night’s movies seemed to) but just having little hints that get you on the right path and then the perfect timing to reveal the truth… That is what writers should work towards.

A sense of timing is so, so important. You can’t have the twist happen too early, or we don’t care, nor too late, and we don’t ever get a sense of resolution. Having that perfect middle ground is crucial.

Beyond just the twist, though, is keeping the suspense. That means you are going to have to reveal just a little of the story at a time. But to have a coherent storyline throughout it also means that you must FINISH your story before you start writing. Now, I’m not saying you have to have everything intricately planned, but if you don’t know the resolution, then how can you hint at it with any accuracy? I know; I have tried to do it! All I got then was a puzzle I tried to force together and a big mess. Take it from me- if you are writing suspense, know the ending first!

From Night’s first big success, The Sixth Sense, to the bedtime story style of Lady in the Water, to the horror movie styles he’s progressed to now, Night always has that twist that keeps you coming back for more. While every movie may not be a success, we can still learn what it means to write creatively from his films.

Author Bio
Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at]

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