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
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.
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.
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.