Plot Twist Story Prompts: Compelled Duty

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, compel a character to perform a task.
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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, Resolution Made, here.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Compelled Duty

For today's prompt, compel a character to perform a task. And by task, I don't mean washing the dishes or taking out the trash. Like the title of this prompt, I mean the task to be more of a duty. Like leaving their loved ones to go to war or to take care of a distant relative in need. Or it could be going into a profession or marriage that's decided for them by their family.

(Sariah Wilson: Escapes and Happily-Ever-Afters.)

There are a few ways that compelled duty can impact a plot. In a romance, compelled duty is a very common way to split up two people who feel they belong together. If they do, they'll be together in the end. If not, then they both probably found someone else while they were apart. But compelled duty can help drive other stories as well.

In Dracula, Bram Stoker sends Jonathan Harker from London to Transylvania to conduct business dealings with an eccentric count and in the process puts his beloved Mina in harm's way. In many dystopian novels, compelled duty is a way of life for most of the characters involved, and it's their resistance against that force that ultimately drives the story. 

So give your character a duty to perform and see where it leads your character and story.


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