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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Not Worst

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, reveal your antagonist is not the worst baddie there is.

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, Being Watched, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Not Worst

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Not Worst

For today's prompt, reveal your antagonist is not the worst baddie there is. In fact, the main antagonist may seem silly (or even nice) compared to this much worse villain. Going to movies, Darth Vader seemed like such a bad guy in the original Star Wars trilogy...until Emperor Palpatine whipped out his dark side electricity on Luke Skywalker. In literature, the rabbits in Watership Down deal with a couple bad warrens that seem pretty lame when eventually compared to the horrors of Efrafa and General Woundwort.

(Tapping Your Inner Villain.)

In the two examples, you can see there are a couple different ways to reveal the more superior antagonist. In the Star Wars example, the bad-not-worst villain (Darth Vader) is working under the really bad baddie (Emperor Palpatine). In the Watership Down example, each new antagonist and/or example is unrelated to the other, but they continually get worse. 

Of course, you should not water down your original villain to make it easier to create a worse antagonist later. Rather, start bad and figure out who could be even worse. This technique can help build the tension in a story and, in some cases, maybe even make the original villain into a hero (Darth Vader).

So make your character reveal that your antagonist is not the worst villain, and see what happens next.

*****

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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