48 Plot Twists

Twists are so wild you might never predict them, which adds to the suspense in your film. If you do a strong enough original twist at the end, you will make an instant classic moment. Think of what stunning turn around you could include during Act Three, and then see how you could reveal it hidden in the script. Adding twists throughout your script will keep things unpredictable and nonlinear. Twists force radically new turns in the story line. For it to be a good twist, you must not be able to predict it. If the audience suspects you have something up your sleeve, point them to look at the wrong sleeve. You usually need at least two big plot twists in a short and four in a feature.

Twists are wildly unpredictable sets of circumstances that pop up and inalterably change the course of the plot.

Twists can come in many forms, such as unexpected events, unexpected characters appearing, new information, mistakes, misunderstandings, other characters acting in surprising ways, equipment breaking, or characters outsmarting each other. Sometimes big twists involve having the character change plot goals, either by accomplishing the first plot goal and seeing a bigger one to do, or finding out that the plot goal he is working toward is now unnecessary. Plant setup and payoff clues earlier in the story, such as fixing a piece of equipment that sometimes breaks, which will then break later at a key moment.

How would your film idea change if one of the following events happened somewhere in your story?

  • Accident kills someone.
  • Character gets caught.
  • Transportation breakdowns.
  • Worse situation gets even worse during escape route.
  • Unexpected new equipment is installed that messes up plan. .
  • Communication system goes haywire.
  • Cover is blown.
  • No more food, money, air, bullets, or gas.
  • Innocent people get in the way.
  • Dead character comes back to life.
  • Ticking-clock deadline pressure, such as a bomb about to explode.
  • Clues destroyed.
  • Plans are stolen by the enemy.
  • New information is revealed that changes current situation completely.
  • Character loses the ability to move, see, or walk.
  • Natural obstacles or unforeseen disasters.

Choose from over 30 other story twist ideas to add suspense in "Developing Digital Short Films"!



Natural Obstacles Blocking Path

A 3D Bigfoot character is escaping a dangerous situation when her path is suddenly blocked by a series of huge spider webs. This is a twist since it was unforeseen and forces her to think on her feet. Twists are great places to explore character growth by the way your characters react to the unexpected situations.

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