Plot Twist Story Prompts: Breaking News

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let the news break your story in a new direction.
Author:
Publish date:

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, Wear Disguise, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Breaking News

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Breaking News

For today's prompt, inject some breaking news into your story. In the real world, there are some events in the news that can sabotage a day, change conversations, and/or lead to real worry (or happiness) for friends and family members. This same dramatic dynamic is available in fiction as well.

(15 Things a Writer Should Never Do.)

There are different levels of breaking news. Some of it may be akin to gossip (this technique is used in Bridgerton: The Duke and I), but there's other news that may impact your characters in dramatic ways, such as a raid on someone's company or a riot in a city. And remember that not all news has to be bad; it could be good news too.

Plus, the news may break in different ways depending on your story. In a science fiction novel, the news may break on screens everywhere at once, while a fantasy novel may have the news "break" whenever a new traveler wanders through town. In fact, the timing of the event to people learning about the event can be a fun plot device.

As with all plot twists, think about how the news impacts each character. Some may be excited at the same time others are terrified. One character may see a piece of news as evidence to act at the same time that another believes it's time to retreat.

So break some news and see how it moves your characters and story.

*****

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.

How I Sold the Cover of My Latest Book as an NFT and What I Learned

How I Sold the Cover of My Latest Book as an NFT and What I Learned

When faced with the difficult task of promoting his novel Catch 42: A novel about our future, writer Felix Holzapfel had a wild idea: Why not use non-fungible tokens?

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Author Bridget Morrissey explains the differences in her process for writing her first adult debut, Love Scenes, compared to her YA novels, what she wanted to explore in adult fiction, and more!

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Awdl Gywydd Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the awdl gywydd.

Kara Holden: On Adapting a Person's Life for the Screen

Kara Holden: On Adapting a Person's Life for the Screen

Screenwriter Kara Holden shares her experience with writing the script for Clouds on Disney+, and how she decided what moments of her subject's life to include in the film.

4 Tips for Setting a Novel in a Place You Don’t Know Well

4 Tips for Setting a Novel in a Place You Don’t Know Well

You want to write your story in a place you're not familiar with, but how can you do it justice? Kim Hooper, author of No Hiding in Boise, has some tips.

Alka Joshi: On Allowing Characters to Inform Your Sequel

Alka Joshi: On Allowing Characters to Inform Your Sequel

In this article, historical fiction author Alka Joshi explains how the characters from her first book inspired the sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, and how their story managed to surprise her.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Magazine Cover Reveal, Literary Agent Boot Camp Announced, and More!

This week, we’re excited to reveal the cover for our upcoming July/August issue of Writer’s Digest, a Literary Agent Boot Camp, and more!

Camille Aubray: Understanding the Nuances of Human Nature

Camille Aubray: Understanding the Nuances of Human Nature

Author Camille Aubray discusses her recent novel The Godmothers, including what prompted the book, why writers should write everything down, the importance of understanding the nuances of human nature, and more.