This isn’t so much a blog as a request for help that might lead to a blog.
At the request of oh-so-many of my readers and workshop students, I’ve been revising and expanding the first Screenwriting Tricks For Authors workbook into a new volume of the book that is much more romance-friendly. It should be available mid-July, barring the Rapture or some similar cool distraction.
All the way along the writing of this new book has been a natural and enjoyable process. But there’s a chapter that is presently giving me grief, and I thought I’d throw it open to you all in case I’m totally missing something.
The chapter that is stymieing me (don’t you love it when I make up words?) is the chapter on The Big Twist. When I first wrote the blog on the subject and the chapter based on it, I came up with a list of my favorite twist endings, and of course it was dark and twisty, just like my own writing, and I was assuming that the first couple dozen dark examples I came up with were from thriller and horror stories just because that’s the way my mind works.
But now that I’ve been dwelling on romance and love stories for months, I am having an incredibly difficult time coming up with examples of big twists in love stories. Not only that, but when I Google “great twists” and “twist endings” - there aren’t any romances or romantic comedies listed. I mean, NONE.
I’m able to list tons of reversals in different love story storylines – not huge revelations, mind you, but nice enough surprises, usually in the form of well-planted plants and subsequent payoffs, like the tapioca saving the day in New in Town, and some more emotionally devastating revelations, like the wrenching Midpoint Climax in Sense and Sensibility when Elinor learns that Edward has been secretly engaged to someone else while he’s been courting her.
But big climactic twists? The best I personally can come up with is the climax of Tootsie, which, even though it seems like it should be perfectly obvious that Dorothy would unmask herself as Michael during a live broadcast, is still the most surprising and exhilarating climax I’ve ever seen in a romantic comedy, maybe ever.
So – am I and all of these other bloggers and film reviewers out there overlooking the obvious? Or is it just the nature of romance and romantic comedy not to want to turn things totally upside down in the same way that the more adrenaline-driven genres strive to do?
Can anyone give us some good examples of love story twists? Or explain why love stories never make the Top Ten or Top Fifty lists of Great Twist Endings?
I’d be most grateful!
(It's hot here. Is it hot where you are?)
I have succumbed and put the Screenwriting Tricks workbook up for Nook and on Smashwords, where yes, you can finally download it as a pdf file or whatever format you want. Any version - $2.99!
- Smashwords (includes pdf and online viewing)
- Barnes & Noble/Nook
- Amazon UK
- Amaxon DE (Eur. 2.40)