Monday, May 5, 2008

What do you think? - Mystery

Which do you think is more exciting -- to be surprised by an unnexpected twist (i.e. "Luke, I am your father.") or to know something the character does not (i.e. "Don't go through that door, you stupid idiot!")?

3 comments:

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

I think, done well, both have a place in fiction.

You can really sustain a sense of dread if the reader KNOWS something is behind that door, but the character doesn't. You can also end up wanting the beat the character's head in for making dumb choices--so the balance is important.

Twists can be great and unexpected, making the reader go WHOA. But, you probably want at least a little set up for it, something invisible that the reader will think back on and realize 'oh that's why X did/said/what not, I didn't even notice/think of/realize..." A twist coming way out of the blue can be cheep and leave the reader dissatisfied.

Neither is better than the other as an absolute rule. Both can work in the right situation, and both can blow up if mishandled.

Okay, I'm rambling on, but there, that's my opinion. Use as you will. ^_^

purpleprose 78 said...

I like the twist. The one that makes you say, "Oh that makes sense now." I went to SCWW last night and one of the men there brought a short story with a great twist at the end. He'd embedded clues throughout his story and when the ending came, it was a wow moment.

The "Don't go through that door, you stupid idiot" is good too.

haricot vert said...

i prefer the unexpected twist. too much excitement (the second option) is bad for my delicate constitution.