Author Vera Tobin, professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, recently published a book entitled Elements of Surprise,
about how our brains work as we read, and why plot twists are such powerful tools for storytelling. It turns out that readers don’t actually like to predict every turn of a story. They want you, dear writers, to be the magicians.
Commonly defined as a “radical change in the expected direction of the plot,” a plot twist takes what the reader thinks is going to happen, and turns it on its head. Perhaps the protagonist turns out to have evil motivations, or a secret is not actually a secret, or a character makes a jaw-dropping confession.
For this prompt, dear writers, craft a short story of 500 words or fewer that contains one MAJOR plot twist. It’s time to surprise!
Thank you mimichoudhory
for the original inspiration for this prompt.