Recently I participated in a flash fiction contest–flash fiction defined as a short story under a thousand words. One wouldn’t think it would be too difficult for a novelist to write a short story. I learned a lot. First that I was trying to put too much story into it. Second, it was a great exercise in writing tight. Third, I was missing something–that umph that gives the story/scene meaning.
I put it aside for a few weeks hoping that the missing piece would reveal itself to me while I was thinking about something completely different, or in the middle of the night (often that’s when my best ideas occur). But the meaning of the story I’d written didn’t reveal itself to me. Does that sound strange–that I would wait for my story’s meaning to magically appear? Welcome to my world!
My daughter wants to see Lady in the Water, M Night Shyamalan’s latest movie. We began a discussion of his movies and why we enjoyed them. The main reason–the twist at the end.
Aha, that is what my story was missing. I need a twist. I love twists at the end. After all as writers, isn’t that one of the things we strive for–something unexpected.
Here’s a synopsis of his film, Sixth Sense.
After the assault and suicide of one of his ex-patients, award-winning child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is left determined to help a young boy named Cole, who suffers from the same diagnosis as the ex-patient – they both see dead people. Malcolm cannot rest until he makes amends for his feelings of failure, created by the mental breakdown of the first patient.
Cole is a young boy who is paralyzed by fear from his visions of dead people. His mother is at her wits end trying to cope with Cole’s eccentricities. With the help of Dr. Crowe, Cole goes on a journey of self as he learns to overcome his fears, all the while discovering the purpose of his gift.
The synopsis, however, does not tell us about the Twist. I’m sure you’ve seen the movie or at least heard about it.
And the Twist is??????? I want to hear your comments. What is the Twist? I’ll post the answer tomorrow if I dont’ hear from you or even if I do. If I have the time and the energy because I’m also posting at Favorite Pastimes this week (be SURE to stop by there) I hope to explore the Twist in each of his movies.
Oh and BTW, I did come up with a twist to my story. I had to completely rewrite it, but I love it. I’m not sure how others will feel about it, but the meaning I knew was hidden somewhere in the story magically revealed itself to me. . .as I knew it would.