Trying to keep it simple, I’d say I go for the twist no one else has ever seen in the stories we’ve all been told.
In Ghostly Rhapsody, my debut series, I wrote a YA Gothic Romance featuring a cool girl and outcast guy who stood together against a curse two hundred years in the making. The twist? A swoon-worthy hero who happened to be a bit on the scrawny side, dyed his hair white, used eyeliner at school, and painted his nails black.
In Faerie Sworn, I wrote an urban fantasy based on myth and folklore. Actually, I straddled the definition between fantasy and urban, because they spent a lot of time in the wilderness and in the Faerie Courts, but that wasn’t the twist. In other books I’d reads, the Unseelie were always the bad guys. There were Unseelie heroes, but they usually played the misunderstood part–good guys at heart who cheated the system and only pretended to be bad for Winter’s shake. Well, not Troy. He’s Unseelie. He’s a Kelpie. He’s what he is. And he still fascinates me, and he’s still the best hero I could’ve imagined, and that’s the whole point.
In Exile of Angels, demons are very aware of being demons. They are the angels who rebelled against God, the ones who took the Fall and ended up locked in Hell in solitary confinement for millennia. When they escape, they survive in our world because they possess the body of a mortal–and in doing so, they end their life. They aren’t hero material either. And yet, when the time comes, they’re the only thing standing between Creation and Hell.
Can you see a trend?