Write Stories With a Twist

Creating Stories With a Twist in the Tail
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Instructed by Jane Bettany Academics / Humanities
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  • Lectures 33
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

In this course you will learn everything you need to know to develop twist plots that you can use in short stories or in a novel.

Twist stories can be a very lucrative form of writing, and they are also great fun to write. Write Stories With a Twist covers all of the techniques and tips you will need for success. By the end of the course you will understand exactly how twist plots work and be in a position to create twist stories of your own.

Here's what you'll learn in the course:

  • Why twist stories are so lucrative.
  • The importance of researching the writing markets for twist stories
  • The six types of twist: the Unreliable Narrator, Reversal of Identity, Reversal of Motive, Reversal of Perception, Reversal of Achievement, and Reversal of Fortune.
  • We will analyse several story examples, including The Gift of the Magi by O Henry and The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.
  • How to create a twist, and then twist again.
  • Building on your initial twist idea.
  • Creating a story outline.
  • How to sow clues in your story.
  • The way to misdirect your readers.
  • Plots and storylines to avoid.
  • Novel v short story.
  • Editing your work.
  • Proofreading tips (with a proofreading exercise to test your skills).
  • Discover how to submit your work to an editor, publisher or agent.
  • And finally, complete an end of course quiz.

There's also a glossary and recommended reading list with the course.

You’ll learn by listening to lectures, completing writing exercise and reading downloadable handouts and other materials. You’ll apply the things you learn in the lectures by reading and analysing stories to find out how they have been put together.

Quite simply, this course has everything you need to learn how to write stories with a twist.

And of course it comes with Udemy's 30-day money back guarantee - so if you're not completely satisfied with the course, you can ask for your money back, no questions asked. So what have you got to lose?

The course is taught by a qualified writer with over 25 years of fiction writing experience.

What are the requirements?

  • It helps to have some knowledge of story elements such as plot, characterisation, setting and dialogue, but is not essential.
  • An understanding of fiction writing terms is useful, but not required (a glossary of terms will be provided as part of the course).

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Identify and recognise the six different types of plot twist.
  • Generate your own ideas and use them to outline and create your own twist stories.
  • Understand how to edit, proofread and submit your story.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for writers who have a particular interest in learning how to create plots with a twist - for use in either short stories or novels.
  • Some previous experience of writing fiction will be an advantage, but is not essential.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Welcome! In this video lesson I'll explain why I created this course and what you will learn in the lessons.


Why are writers drawn towards twist stories? What are the advantages of creating twist plots?


In this lesson we consider the importance of researching markets for twist stories before you start to write.

Section 2: Types of twist

In this video, we look at how to create a twist using an unreliable narrator.


In this video, we look at how to create a twist using a reversal of identity.


Now let's look at twist types that rely on a reversal of motive.


Now it's time to think about twists that revolve around a reversal of perception.


Let's consider the type of twist that relies on a reversal of achievement.


Read the Gift of the Magi by O Henry, which is an example of a story that uses a reversal of achievement twist (you can also download the story as a PDF).

If you prefer, you can move straight on to an analysis of the story in the next lesson.


In this lesson, we analyse The Gift of the Magi by O Henry using a story template, which you can use to outline your own twist stories later in the course. You can listen to the analysis in the video lesson, or download the analysis as a PDF.


In this video we look at twists that rely on a reversal of fortune (also known as peripeteia)


The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant is an example of a story that uses a reversal of fortune twist. In this lecture you can listen to or read my analysis of the story to help you understand more about a reversal of fortune type twist. The analysis uses the template we referred to in our earlier analysis of The Gift of the Magi.


Here's a short recap on what we've learned during this section.

Section 3: Writing your twist story

This lesson offers advice on how to start developing a twist for your story.


Adding a second twist to short pieces of fiction will make your story more satisfying for readers and more likely to sell to an editor. This lesson looks at a story example to demonstrate how a second twist can add extra value.

[Activity] Writing exercise

Once you've thought of an idea for a twist, you'll need to start to build a story around it. This lesson looks as some of the ways you can do this.


In this lesson we look at how to create an outline for your twist story.


This lesson considers why you need to sow clues in your story in order to satisfy your readers. It also considers the Chekhov's Gun principle.


This lesson considers some of the ways you can misdirect readers in order to create a plot twist, and it includes a story example which can be downloaded as a PDF.


Some twists have been over-used in story plots. Here are a few that you should avoid.


Twist plots are equally popular in short stories and novels.

Writing exercise

In this bonus lesson, we consider the art of writing dialogue.

Section 4: Submitting your story

In this lesson your can read some tips for editing your work. Editing is an important part of the writing process and is not something you should neglect. Editing can often take longer than writing the first draft.


Proofreading is essential if you want to present your work professionally, and it is vital if you decide to self-publish. Some people are better at spotting errors than others. This lesson includes tips and pointers to help you with the process, but if you don't feel confident about proofreading, then it's probably best to get someone else to do it for you.


This short exercise is designed to test your proof reading and observation skills. The answers are provided in the accompanying PDF.

[Activity] Story example - A Head of My Time by Jane Bettany

Listen to this lesson or read the guide to submitting your short story or novel to an editor, publisher or agent. Also included with the lesson is an example manuscript layout.

End of course quiz
10 questions
Section 5: Next steps
This useful list explains some of the terms used in the course.

Here are some twist stories that are well worth reading to learn more about how twist plots work.


This video contains some suggested 'next steps' to sustain your motivation for writing.

Section 6: Bonus section

Thank you so much for joining me on this course. I hope you’ve found it useful. Please feel free to get in touch at any time if you have any questions about your writing projects.


If you’ve enjoyed learning with me and would like to sign up for another of my courses, you can use the code STUDENTSPECIAL to get them for $12 (or use the links below):

Write Short Stories: The Essential Guide for $12


Writing Non-Fiction: The Essential Guide for $12



If you have completed 85% or more of the lessons in this course, you will automatically be entered into my monthly prize draw to win a writing critique (see the video in this Bonus Section for more details).


Finally, if you’d like to keep in touch, visit my blog at www.writingsuccess.co.uk/blog for more writing resources and updates or follow me on Twitter @JaneBettany

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Instructor Biography

Jane Bettany, Writer, Publisher, Creative Writing Teacher

Jane is a writer of short stories and non-fiction articles that have been published in women's magazines in the UK (such as My Weekly, People's Friend, Yours and Woman's Weekly), as well as in literary magazines and newspapers.

Her journey as a writer began with a childhood love of reading and books. As an adult, she enrolled for an evening class in creative writing and began to produce short stories. Her first story was published in 1992.

In 2004 Jane completed an MA in Creative Writing, which she found both challenging and enjoyable because it gave her an opportunity to try different genres and experiment with writing styles.

Jane has been a teacher of creative writing since 2007, and is always amazed at how much talent is out there and how many untold stories are waiting to be written. She loves helping others to develop their short story skills and find their writing voice.

Jane is based in Derby the UK and, as well as writing and teaching, she also runs a publishing and communications company.

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