Twist-In-The-Tale Short Stories

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no doubt that there’s a market for good (ie: original) twist-in-the-tale short stories.

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.

See the Womag website here for the guidelines for both The Weekly News and Take A Break – and lots of useful tips – if you’re interested in writing for them.

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

My writing buddy Sally has some advice on writing for The Weekly News too, here. And you can even buy a whole book on the subject. See here for more details.

This entry was posted in Ideas, Magazines, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Twist-In-The-Tale Short Stories

  1. I really enjoy twist ending storie -bot reading and writing them.

  2. Annette says:

    My short stories are almost exclusively “twist in the tale” pieces so many thanks for the info concerning possible magazines for them.

    Kind regards

    Annette x

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