The Weekly News, which publishes 3 short stories every week, definitely seems to favour them and Take A Break Fiction Feast has 2 or 3 in every issue.
As I’ve been looking at ‘Twist In The Tale’ stories (very briefly!) with my classes this week, I thought it was worth putting a little extra info on here.
Unlike most short stories, where the character(s) is all-important, when you’re writing a ‘Twist In The Tale’, it’s all about the IDEA (although you still have to consider the market you’re writing for). Come up with a good one and the story will almost write itself. But ‘it was all a dream’ or ‘the character’ was really a dog/cat, have all been done before. You really need to try to think of something new!
Here are some twists that you might want to consider, just to get you started:
• ‘Gender’ twists – we think it’s a man, but it’s a woman and vice versa
• ‘Generational’ twists – eg: we think the badly-behaved characters are teenagers but they’re actually pensioners
• ‘Animal’ twists (but be careful with that one – see above!)
• ‘Occupation’ twists – we think the nursery worker is a woman, or the lorry driver is a man but it’s the other way round (this is similar to the gender twist but plays on stereotypes)
• ‘Ghost’ twists – we think it’s a real person but it’s actually a ghost (and vice versa)
• ‘Location/setting’ twists eg: we think the character is on holiday, lying on the beach, but she’s actually in a sandpit
• ‘Come-uppance’ twists eg: a conman at the door has the tables turned on him by the old lady