Wikipedia defines a twisted ending as an unexpected conclusion or climax to a work of fiction, which may contain a surprising irony, or cause the audience to review the story from a different perspective by revealing new information about the characters or plot. A twist ending is the conclusive form of plot twists. This literary device is also referred to as a surprise ending.

Alfred Hitchcock was the first master of twisted endings. In only half an hour, he could develop a plot and mislead the viewer into jumping to the wrong conclusion. It was something akin to the game of "Clue" where the viewer was left to draw his own conclusions, but the clues lead in the wrong direction. This type of twisted ending is called a "red herring".

In the movie Moby Dick, Captain Ahab spends his life searching for the white whale that bit his leg off. The twisted ending comes when Ahab becomes ensnared in ropes attached to the great white and the whale drags him through the sea, drowning him.

Let's suppose a man has murdered a woman and her husband is out to catch the killer. Let us further suppose that the husband finally catches the murderer, and just when hubby is about to kill him, the police arrive on the scene and take the man into custody. While the husband wishes with all his might to see the
murderer die, we can make a twisted ending. Imagine that the murderer goes to trial and his plea is to be put to death. But instead of executing him, the judge feels he would suffer more by going to prison without chance of parole. The husband is happy that the killer is miserable instead of dead. The reader is satisfied.

The secret to a twisted ending is finding the point where you can veer off to an alternative resolution.

In the last illustration, the point to veer off was when the police arrived and took the killer into custody. From that point on, anything could have happened. The murderer could have tried to escape while in the courtroom and the police could have killed him; a prison inmate could have killed the murderer while he was serving his time; the murderer could have served X number of years and then was paroled, only to be hit by a car on the way to a hotel.

But the best ending of all is when you twist the ending, and then you twist it again. For example, the murderer could have served his prison time, been paroled, and been hit by a car, as we said. When the reader begins to think the murderer will die at the scene of the accident, we could change the ending so that the murderer will be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life. As long as the reader feels satisfied in the end, you can do all sorts of things with the ending.

Now you try it!