On Friday 8 July I went to London Bridge to a Woman's Weekly workshop on how to write a story with a twist ending. I went because I had no idea how to write one or where to get ideas for one.
The two presenters were Fiction Editor, Gaynor Davies, and author, Della Galton.
Della said that twist endings mustn't be predictable or contrived eg character winning the lottery, or having an aunt giving them an inheritance.
She gave us a list of dos and don'ts for these stories. One do is that the story has to build up to the twist.
We had an exercise in the morning, to write an outline for a story. I thought of a story I had in mind to write for another magazine. So I wrote a twist outline for that. I also got an idea for another twist story which I wrote down and will probably write another time. Once time was up, we were asked to read them out loud. My heart went fast at this and for one moment I thought I was going to faint, but I was OK in the end and read out my outline, which was said was good.
Della then read a story in the WW Summer Special (which I later bought and read), which gave me the idea for the twist ending of my story.
You can write an outline for a story which has lots of possible endings. The character and conflict of the story has to be at the start.
We were given a list of types of 'Twists'.
We were given another exercise to write the ending of our story then read it out. I offered to read mine first, to get it out of the way. Was told it was good. During the day, Gaynor told me I am learning. Praise indeed.
I really enjoyed this workshop. It gave me another idea for a twist story for a story that I have already written. I did ask if I could resubmit a story with another ending, and Gaynor said yes, as long as it's not too regonisable. So that is what I plan to do.
I am working on a story for WW now, not a twist one, a normal one, but I plan to rewrite this and send it to another magazine as a twist, which I have worked out.