I begin by knowing what my twist will be and then draft everything leading up to the twist. Think of it as writing a story backwards. This is how I go about doing the twist:
Think of an ending then work out how you are going to reach that ending. Imply the view you wish your reader to assume. Have some fun by guiding the reader up that proverbial garden path – let them assume without deceiving them. You need to plant things which will fit in to the real outcome of your story without being too obvious. Weave in just enough hints to make the outcome plausible. You know your ending, so be clever here and use incidents/descriptions/emotions that would also relate to an idea entirely different to your ending. Even the title of your story can get readers assuming.
The twist in the tale is not about concealing the truth from the reader, it’s about slight hints, subtle signposts or clues that will end with your twist
AND tie in with the ‘misconception’ you are building.
Do not reveal essential clues too early. Leave that until later on in your story; the last paragraph or even the final sentence.
Here some ideas you might like to use to get you twisting:
The main character appears to be young but turns out be old.The hero turns out to be the villain or vice versa.
Mother assumes teenage son up to no good but quite the opposite.
Elderly mother overhears conversation about ‘being put away’ but turns out to be an inanimate object they are talking about.
The main character appears to be on a doomed flight but is really stuck in a Ferris wheel.
The main character appears to be on holiday, lying on the beach, but is actually in a sandpit.
Twist stories do take some planning and plotting. They are a challenge. But with some persistence and smart thinking a successful twist story is a joy to write, a pleasure to read and the publishers love them!
Keep writing ….