A great story creates a world that follows the rules and still manages to surprise us. Unfortunately, there’s no convenient “Instant Climax: Just Add Godzilla” strategy for writing great plot twists.
TWA Developmental Editor Harrison Demchick had the opportunity to discuss effective plot twists in his guest post on Project Middle Grade Mayhem. His post, “The Godzilla Effect: How Climaxes, Twists, and Turning Points Work (and How They Don’t)” addresses the common question, “How do I create an exciting, unforgettable climax?”
But while Godzilla’s sudden appearance on the Death Star or in Victorian London is undeniably exciting and unexpected, there is no “one size fits all” plot twist. After all, if Tokyo, Darth Vader, Sherlock Holmes, and Voldemort were all crushed by mutant lizards, Godzilla could lose the element of surprise.
Harrison explains how dramatic twists actually work; they must be the culmination of all the protagonist’s successes and failures as she works towards her goal. The secret is to create a Godzilla moment that makes perfect sense within the story once the twist occurs. One of the joys of a great plot twist is the moment we say to ourselves, “Of course! How did I miss that?”
A huge thank you to Eden Unger Bowditch and the whole team at Project Middle Grade Mayhem for hosting Harrison!
Harrison Demchick came up in the world of small press publishing, working along the way on more than two dozen published novels and memoirs, several of which have been optioned for film. He is an award-winning, twice-optioned screenwriter, and the author of literary horror novel The Listeners. He’s part of The Writer’s Ally team as a developmental editor of fiction and memoir, for which he’s currently accepting new clients.