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I really don’t dislike plot twist. I think they are necessary. But some plot twist either will work or not (hence my title). They serve a purpose there and if it was done right then it makes the story a whole lot better. I admit there were times that I was totally caught off guard when the story decided to drop an effing ‘reveal’ bomb on me. But some came pathetic; others just completely out of the blue and sometimes were only there to elicit some cheap shock factor. As good citizen of planet fandom, I bear good news— *coughs* er, actually it’s just a list of my top plot twist sometimes works for me or the worst kind, totally ruin it! (Spoilers are unmarked, you have been warned. Read on, you brave soldiers.)

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Looks *rubs eyes* yep, it happened. (Gin’s style)

X is relative to Y (and I don’t mean the Math kind!)

Work: if it’s not out of the blue. Please don’t do the “I’m your *insert blood relation here.*” speech like Dart Vader when not a single hint or development was there. Leave subtle hints for me to think and not only just to surprise. Example: Nash and Todd being brothers. Nash was leaving hints but obviously evasive of their real relationship. When he admitted it did made sense.

Break: I rather chose the obvious (like we all knew that Naruto is Yondaime’s son, not a shocker there) than out of the blue confession which for me looks like cheap device to surprise your readers. Example: America’s father was part of the rebel group. You see, I don’t care anymore and you were two books too late for that!

No slacking! Don’t do the Deus ex Machina!

So you put your protagonist in a pile of mess, after mess, after mess, after freaking mess. And you can’t get him out. So what to do? Use the magic of deus ex machine! Nope, unforgivable. Don’t complicate the plot line and make the resolve seemingly simple. It’s aggravating because I just don’t read, I sometimes theorize. And it’s frustrating if the answer is too simple than the question.

Work: Will never work. Just don’t do this.

Break: It’s always a deal breaker for me.

You killed him? You really killed him?!

Death of a character, particularly the important one is heavily agonizing. I mean, you invested on this character, you root for him and the author killed him? I have a fair share of favorites that met their sudden demise. But I’m not mad if it happens, I think it will—

Work: if the death was crucial to the growth of the character/s or plot development (in best case scenarios, both), I with heavy heart will accept it. Example: Finnick, even though I didn’t like how it went, I think his death was necessary.

Break: Cheap shock factor? Usually I deemed the reason to be always this because not only the character died, it wasn’t even good exit. Like sayonara, you have served your purpose *kicks him out of picture!* Example: Ren freaking Larouche! They stripped him off of everything and decided to kill him. And it wasn’t even graceful exit! Come on! And Tris? But do I really care? *shrugs*

But wait, he didn’t actually die, he was actually—

ALIVE?! You’re alive?!!
Gasp! He's still alive and Gin is shocked!

Gasp! He’s still alive and Gin is shocked!

You freaking resurrected the guy?! Like in some deus ex machina kind of way he was alive and not the just undead kind. Beating heart and all that! I’m should be thrilled but that’s not always the case.

Work: if it can supported the resurrection. Not every story has the handy Edo Tensei or dragon balls you can wish to bring people back to life . Leave that these things to Goku and Naruto’s world but if the story can explain properly how he escaped death then we’re all good here.

Break: Again the shock factor and this time, the cheapest kind. Not only had it decided to shock readers by killing this character but it wasn’t true and he miraculously lives with only a half-assed explanation on how he was still alive. Example: Again Ren, I didn’t bother to read the spin-of though. I mean what’s the use? I’m already over it!

No book is perfect for everyone. I too sometimes ignore the flaws of the story if I did end up liking the book in spite of the flaws. And that means a whole lot more than faultless story.

How about you, any deal breaker plot twist you detest? Care to share it with me. :D

2014 / 06 / 18

24 Responses to Those plot twist deal breakers—or not.

  1. Marie says:

    Edo tensei had become too convinient jutsu. And I think Naruto fans knew that he and yondaime are related. It was just matter of when. Nice post.

  2. The only time complicated problem/simple answer has ever worked for me is in the Artemis Fowl books, but looking back the answers were still kind of complicated…

    The thing about book plot twist for me is I can often predict them. It’s both unfortunate (No shock value) and cool, because then there’s the satisfaction of your guess being right.

  3. Finley Jayne says:

    Great post! I usually like plot twists, as long as they make sense. The totally random ones that are just thrown in for no real reason are the ones I hate!

  4. Riley says:

    I also don’t like when they kill the main characters, like Tris. I know it’s really cliche but I want endings that are positive and hopeful. They already had hard time in the story, why not give them a bit of peace, even just the end. Just my two cents or whatever its worth.

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Hmm, I just read the last few pages of Allegiant and I felt that it was unnecessary. But it was brave of Ms. Roth to do that. I kinda like that, giving them peace after all the hardships.

  5. Chyna Ngie says:

    Okay LOL that was def hilarious to read HAHA Did you see that post the one with the text that says…

    I like you, new character. *squints at more closely* you’re going to die, aren’t you?

    HAHA I loved that post! It’s been trending in a few places HAHA

    http://www.lite-rate-ture.com

  6. Ugh, I totally get what you mean. There’re so many plot twists these days, but most of them are mainly for that “shock” factor — they don’t contribute much to the story at all. And while that doesn’t bother me much, sometimes I feel like authors are doing it simply for the attention, or as a backup plan, in case the reader doesn’t like the book, then BAM, there’s this plot twist that they hope might boost their ratings up or something like that.

    The one I find most annoying is when the author SUPPOSEDLY kills off a character, but he only appears again in the next book like an annoying bitch. Or maybe it’s the author that’s annoying, I don’t care. Either way, that plot twist is pointless and annoying. I think I’ve only read a good representation of it in The Eternity Cure and The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa. THAT one was actually believable and done really well.

    But haha, this post was so funny and so true! Authors really need to pull their shit together and write a book that’s actually good, instead of relying on plot twists. Sheesh!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      Exactly! I’m ok with plot twist but my real problem is it is easy to spot whether that plot was necessary or simply a ploy. If they’re going to use a well used trope make sure that it is a risk worth taking and not simply an easy way to tell a story.

  7. My number one peeve is the deus ex machina. Like you said, there’s never a time for that. It’s lazy storytelling! Kill someone there instead. :P

    • Mitchii G. says:

      It’s really lazy to rely on something like this. And if they’re going to kill an important character make sure it has valid reason to do so.

    • Yes, I just meant that if you need a character to be saved by a DEM, that maybe they should be killed in that situation instead. I guess that’s a bit grim. BUT, people don’t magically get out of situations all the time!

    • Mitchii G. says:

      I understand & I agree, in addition, if they can’t support it with a good explanation as to why he was alive better not do it in the first place. ;D

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  10. The one kind of plot twist that I really can’t deal with are the ones that make no difference to the story. Like “OMG THAT PERSON IS A REBEL?!” and then you realise that it doesn’t matter at all. (Reference to The One by Kiera Cass)

  11. Julie S. says:

    Excellent topic! Wow I’m with you on the Deus ex machina. Can we please have an intelligent ending and not a oh look it was here all along. GAH.

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