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The twist in the tale?

The RetroReview

THE TWIST IN THE TALE?

The absolute keystone to a great piece of mystery fiction is the surprise twist at the end. Sometimes this ‘about face’ in the plot can take place somewhere in the middle of the narrative and then it can mark a neat shift in the direction of the story.
When I am setting out to write my novels, the ‘shock’ ending is one of the first elements of the plot that I plan. Then the whole novel can work up to this surprise conclusion. As a writer, you must ensure that you have placed enough clues along the way so that it is at least possible for your readers to guess what is going to happen, but you want it to be very difficult for them to do so. You do not want to deny them your deliciously unexpected resolution. You can always lay some alternative plot lines that you can…

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