And the twist is. . .

Elizabeth Goddard Uncategorized 5 Comments

Becky Miller nailed it.

The Twist in The Sixth Sense is that the man who thought he was helping the little boy stop imagining that he saw dead people was actually one of the dead and the little boy, who was gifted with this sixth sense, was helping him.

Love that ending! There are several other of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies I’d love to explore. Not sure which one is next. Could it be The Village or Unbreakable? Hmmmm.

Don’t forget to visit Favorite Pastimes this week where I’m blogging. I’m posting an interview with Carol Umberger. And my character for Brandilyn Collin’s Scenes and Beans character blog is up today! (although there are three Bev Trexel writers and that isn’t my post) Be sure to click on the Scenes and Beans icon to the left and visit the character blog.


Comments 5

  1. John Kuhn

    I love twist endings, and I’m sad to say that several magazine editors consider them low brow. I have read several guidelines that specifically said “We don’t want twist endings.” One editor said it’s wrong to trick the reader, but as a reader, I like to be tricked. LOTS of people liked “The Sixth Sense.” Twist endings are like riddles; you like to try and solve them. The genius of “The Sixth Sense” (a genius he has yet to come close to matching) was that the typical viewer didn’t know a twist ending was coming. In other movies, like “The Others”, lots of people knew, “Hey, something’s up,” and then they tried to guess it. Many probably got it right, so that the impact of the twist’s revelation was lost. With “The Sixth Sense,” almost everyone who saw it came away thinking, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming,” and then they got out their cell phones and called someone to say, “You have got to go see this movie.” I don’t care what editors think, twist endings are fun, and lots of people like them. I’m going to start a magazine called “The Twist Ending,” and actively seek fun stories with surprises at the end. Someday.

  2. Stuart

    Twist endings can be fun and exciting when you don’t see them coming, but once they’ve happened you can go back and trace through all the clues that make that twist believable. If it is just a twist that has no basis in the story that came before then, no it’s just a cheat. 😉

    That’s why the Sixth Sense worked so well. Once you knew the twist you saw the rest of the movie in a whole new light. But it is also why the rest of Shaymlan’s movies have mostly disappointed me. He never changed tact. When you knew a twist was coming you could figure it out way ahead of time. 🙂

  3. John Kuhn


    Here’s one example of a magazine that eschews the wonderful “twist ending”. These are the guidelines from the highly-regarded speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons. (Sorry, I can’t figure out how to underline on a blog…). Anyway, here’s evidence of twist-phobia. It’s kind of long; just make sure you read the last four words:

    What We Want and What We Don’t Want
    We want good speculative fiction. If it doesn’t have a clear fantasy or science fiction element, or at least strong speculative-fiction sensibilities, it’s probably not for us.

    We’d like to help make the field of speculative fiction more inclusive, more welcoming to both authors and readers from traditionally underrepresented groups, so we’re interested in seeing stories from diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

    We want stories that have some literary depth but aren’t boring; styles that are unusual yet readable; structures that balance inventiveness with traditional narrative. We like characters we can care about. We like settings and cultures that we don’t see all the time in speculative fiction.

    We like stories that address political issues in complex and sensitive ways. However, we don’t like heavy-handed or preachy or simplistic approaches.

    We like the idea of hypertext stories, but we have not yet published any. If you want to send us a hypertext story, query us to discuss how to submit it.

    As with any magazine, the best way to find out the kinds of things we like is to read some of the fiction we publish. Since our magazine is free, the only cost to you is some of your time. Visit our fiction archives to see what we’ve published.

    We’re not generally interested in:

    horror (especially stories in which the main goal is to evoke feelings of fear, terror, or revulsion in the reader)
    stories that explain a scientific or technological phenomenon in great detail
    plots we see all the time
    stories with twist endings

  4. John Kuhn

    Maybe it’s not that they don’t like the twist ending per se…I suspect they see lots and lots of bad twist endings….Maybe they’ve just decided the easiest thing is to ward authors off of them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *