Plot Twist Story Prompts: Approaching Deadline

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, a deadline approaches.
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Plot twist story prompts aren't meant for the beginning or the end of stories. Rather, they're for forcing big and small turns in the anticipated trajectory of a story. This is to make it more interesting for the readers and writers alike.

Each week, I'll provide a new prompt to help twist your story. Find last week's prompt, Give Order, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Approaching Deadline

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Approaching Deadline

For today's prompt, the plot twist is an entity that often makes things happen in real life and can have the same impact in fiction: an approaching deadline. Scoff if you like, but deadlines create stress in the real world and anticipation in fiction. Because a deadline is like an approaching mountain or army; it's something your character(s) will have to deal with. But there are questions to answer.

(21 Fast Hacks to Fuel Your Story With Suspense.)

First question: What is the purpose of the deadline? Is it for a wedding? A graduation? A term paper? Maybe some work project? Or is it even higher stakes like delivering a huge sum of cash by a certain time or someone dies or gets their legs broken? Maybe war will break out between two countries if X doesn't happen by Y.

Second question: What are the obstacles to meeting that deadline? This is where you can really ramp up your story. Maybe there are multiple tasks that need to be completed before hitting the deadline. Maybe your character(s) gets distracted easily. Maybe there's traffic.

The nice thing about a deadline is that it gives the characters, the writer, and the reader a target. Maybe the characters will meet the deadline, and maybe they won't. The story is found in the process of trying.

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40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers: Writing Ideas for Bending Your Stories in New Directions, by Robert Lee Brewer

Have you hit a wall on your work-in-progress? Maybe you know where you want your characters to end up, but don’t know how to get them there. Or, the story feels a little stale but you still believe in it. Adding a plot twist might be just the solution.

Click to continue.

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