Our readers approach our books with the same love of surprise. They want to read a story that will keep them guessing right up to the very end.What they don’t want, is an alien spotting.
What do I mean by alien spotting? A twist that comes out of left field and leaves them feeling tricked as a reader. As if all of what they read so far didn’t lead anywhere that made sense.
As they followed bread crumbs and story turns, forming an idea in their mind of what is to come next they reach the twist only to discover it was all a sham. An hour or two of meaningless entertainment.
Talk about angry. They may be invested enough to finish the book, but they will think twice before picking up another one of your stories.
By all means, be unpredictable.
By no means have an alien spotting.
5 Signs Your Story Twist Will Annoy Readers:
*An unknown character swoops in at the end to be the evil villain. This is probably one of the most annoying alien spotting moments for readers. They can’t stand to be led down one path and then wham mo, there was no way they could have figured it out anyway because the character previously did not exist.
*You bring in peripheral plot that makes you revise the whole premise of the book. If you run into brilliant peripheral plot that changes your book premise, than it should be a rewrite or you must in some way that makes sense to readers connect it with what already is on the page.
*If there are no hints at the coming twist. If a reader can go back to the beginning of the book and reread it without seeing any bread crumbs that the story could go this direction, then they are bound to feel tricked. You can always go back and sprinkle bread crumbs if you have a moment of brilliance as you are writing.
*If you kill a character that the reader loves. Once a reader spends lots of time in a character’s head it is important to make sure we don’t break their trust by manipulating their feelings. A story that touches hearts shouldn’t rip them out and slam them to the pavement.
*If you leave unresolved issues at the end of your book because of the unexpected twist. Our readers like to have the novel tied up in a bow. No lose ends that have no answers or tragic answers that get no resolution.
What is one alien spotting that annoys you when reading it in a book or seeing it in a movie?