Four Plot Twist Ideas to Get Your Act II Going

by Disha Walia
published in Writing

Happy New Year beautiful people on the Internet! I hope 2023 is treating you right and you are ready to finish that novel before the end of this year. Admittedly, I did not have much time to work on my WIP last year. Most of it came out of the frustration I felt every time I hit Act II and got overwhelmed by how to take the story forward. Somehow, nothing felt like the perfect fit.

In case you feel me, I am not going to let you go through that weird slump. Together we are going to look at ways that can make writing the middle of the novel more interesting. After all, if you tear through the pages writing your story, chances are, readers are going to tear through them too.

But first things first, what is Act II or the Second Act? Well, if you follow the Three Act Story Structure, this is the middle of your story. The part where your character is going to get into all sorts of shenanigans. They will be put to the test, the action will rise, and readers will get to see their character arc going. Feeling excited yet?

What I love about the second act is the plot twist or the radical change in the direction of the expected plot. Always keep in mind this should not come off as making no sense to your readers. In fact, somehow your readers should be able to anticipate it. No one likes to be played for a fool. If you are looking for some plot twist ideas, that’s exactly what we are exploring today:

The Makings of a Plot Twist:

Old Acquaintances

This is going to be perhaps the easiest and the most difficult plot twist to pull off. Make an old acquaintance from your character’s life re-emerge. Depending on how you want to take the story ahead, this person is either going to be of help to your character or cause some drama in their life. Make sure they are not just a wallflower or the readers are going to be put off by it. Which also makes the hard part. 

This plot twist must be delivered in a way that does not make your readers feel cheated. To have a speculative take on this plot twist, have this old acquaintance be the key to some major event. Or they could be holding back a supernatural secret. Feel free to weave it your own way.

The Lie

Have something or someone your character desperately needs turn out to be a lie. Not only is this going to throw off their entire course of action, but it can help uncover a side to your character that has never been seen before. After all, humans behave uncharacteristically when under too much stress. Readers will want to tear through the pages as they try to figure out what is your character doing next. This plot twist blends perfectly well with speculative fiction tales which are related to quests of some sort, but give your unique touch to it, as always.

Divine Intervention

Life does not always go the way we want it to go. Something or the other is bound to happen that is out of our control or totally unexpected. Then why should it not happen to your character? In speculative fiction, this can be a literal divine intervention. A lighter take would be to have the character’s path blocked somehow. Anyhow, make sure that it does not hit the readers out of the blue. The entire idea is to have the readers scream at the end of the plot “I knew this was going to happen!” and yet leave them with a sense of satisfaction and anticipation.

Vanish Without A Trace

Someone disappears. Did they leave of their own accord? Was this character kidnapped? What are the clues pointing at? Bear in mind, this plot twist should not take away from the original plot of the story. Plot twists must always aid or cause trouble in your character’s journey, not throw them off course. That is to say, your royal romance novel should not suddenly turn into a murder mystery. Especially if there was nothing hinting at it since the beginning. This plot twist is likely to build up the tension. Readers would love to find out what your character is going to do in the wake of this new event. If they have been too focused on their goal, is this going to make them pause?

What plot twist is going to be your pick? Or did these spark a new idea in your head? Comment down below and let me know. Until next time!

Disha Walia is a lifelong storyteller and an enthusiastic writer and editor in love with the idea of exploring the creative world of words. While making her space in the world of non-fiction and fiction alike, Disha loves to spend even her free time daydreaming about what next to write. Connect with her on You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?