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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Cross the Threshold

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, a character crosses the threshold and into a new phase of the story.

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, Falsely Accused, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Cross the Threshold

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Cross the Threshold

For today's prompt, a character must cross a threshold. My nine-year-old daughter inspired this prompt when she remarked recently that characters in many of her movies and shows have a moment when they have to enter a little door (think Coraline or Alice in Wonderland). The character must cross a literally threshold to enter a whole new phase (or world) of the story.

(The Problem of Solving a Mystery When You're the Prime Suspect.)

Not every threshold is a "little door." In the Chronicles of Narnia, it is a wardrobe, while the Harry Potter series uses chimneys, phone booths, and even public toilets as thresholds. Entering a forbidden forest or haunted house could be considered a threshold. For some characters, a threshold may be traveling beyond a city that was previously their furthest trip from home.

That's part of the value of a crossing the threshold plot twist: The character is forced into a new place they've never experienced before. This means they're likely to come across situations that may leave them with wonder, curiosity, disgust, and/or fear. With a simple act of movement, the stakes of the story are raised.

So lead your characters to a threshold and let them walk through to the other side. You and your readers are bound to enjoy the results.

*****

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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