Disclaimer: I will do my best not to get completely carried away and spoil anything for you, but in proving my point I do need to reveal some things. I will refrain from using any names from last nights events, but if you’re afraid of spoilers DO NOT READ THIS. And that is all.

So, for those of you who aren’t as hip as I am (yes, that’s your cue to laugh), last night was the season finale of Fringe.

I have this tendency to find a TV show and get a little obsessive about it. The number of TV shows that I watch with almost religious devotion to continues to grow. It started with Bones, and then, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Chuck, and Smallville followed. My favorite part about television is that it keeps going and going and the good ones keep you begging for more. Why? Because they are always delivering something new. Now I could go on and on about how good TV shows are at teaching you about character reveals, significant details and plot development, but that’s not why I am here (not this time at least).

I’m here because even while still trying to process the ending of last night’s Ffinale I was struck by this thought: J.J. Abrams is a master of plot twists. I mean, what better way to having your audience gasping for the next season than to erase the existence of a character that everyone has grown to know and love over the last three seasons? (That is as far as I will go into detail for last night. Please if you know who I’m talking about, don’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to watch the finale.) The plot twists that they have dreamed up for this show over the last two seasons constantly leave me feeling blown away.

And that’s how I want my readers to feel when they read my book. I want them to sit back at the end (or when real life calls and they have to put the book down) and go: “Whoa.” And sometimes, I don’t want them to see it coming. Sometimes it’s fun to have the audience know things before the main character, but other times you want to completely catch them off guard.

For those who watch the show, think about how they ended season two (this is all easily accessible info, so even if you haven’t watched the show, you probably know some of it). Olivia has gone over to other side and convinced Peter to come back with her. To be with her. Oh yeah, I was doing a happy dance in my living room. I mean, finally! After two seasons of agony, they were going places I liked. And then, five minutes from the end–They switched the Olivias (parallel universe, for those who don’t watch). But here’s the kicker, the audience didn’t know (or couldn’t be sure) until the last thirty seconds of the episode when you see our Olivia sitting, huddled in a confinement cell.

It was the the king of plot twists…Until this season’s finale. I’m still not sure how I kept from throwing anything at my TV last night.

Maybe because I’ve been too busy realizing how much Fringe has influenced my own writing, especially when it comes to plot twists. Looking that ending of my current book (which is part of a series), if I play my cards right, it will have people screaming for the next book. I can definitely see the impact that shows like Fringe and Alias have had on my writing.

Hands down, Fringe is some of the best television writing I have ever seen. The way they are still tying things in season three to events in season one is amazing–Abrams and crew don’t waste a single detail. Which is why I think  that if you write, you need to watch this show. Watch and see how they handle the plot (and its twists), character development, character backstory, the little details that are actually much more important than they seem at first, and how they lead their audience on this incredible journey through the course of each season. I find it brilliant.

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