I had a twist I wanted to add at the end of my WIP, but it was giving me trouble. I'd worked out most of it, but I wanted a delay in one plot event (a murder...what a surprise) that would create some irony and a more satisfying conclusion. I was ranting about it at the breakfast table, and my husband, who never reads my stuff or offers an opinion, listened, knowing it was important to me because I've hardly left my office for three days.

His comment? "You're making it too complicated." And after a ten-second scenario!

I was. I was trying too hard to be clever, when all I really need at that point in the story is what's already there. The irony is apparent; I was going a step too far, not trusting my readers to get it. Looking at it through the eyes of someone who has no (well, very little) stake in the plot outcome, I could see that.

Out of the mouths of non-mystery readers!

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Comment by Peg Herring on December 15, 2009 at 10:19pm
Yeah, right. You make it sound so easy.
Comment by Dana King on December 15, 2009 at 12:45am
That's a natural tendency we all have. A book or movie gets a lot of buzz for a plot twist, and everyone wants that kind of attention. Problem is, many of those that get attention are gimmicky. The most satisfying endings have elegant plot twists which may be relatively simple. The trick is for an ending to have some kind of surprise, yet seem inevitable in retrospect.

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