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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dream Sequence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your characters dream a little dream.

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, An Invitation, here.

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dream Sequence

For today's prompt, let your characters have a dream. The dream could be one where everything goes right and reveals their deepest desires. Or it could be a complete nightmare revealing their darkest fears or foreshadowing trouble yet to come. Either way, make it interesting.

It should go without saying that readers hate it when an entire story or series of chapters is presented as a reality only to have it revealed "it was all just a dream." So don't do that. Tricking your reader rarely pays off in the end.

(5 ways to surprise your reader without it feeling like a trick.)

That said, a dream can alter the trajectory of your story. In a romance, a nightmare in which one lover cheats on the other can lead to feelings of resentment in the morning. A dream of doom can lead a character to be jumpy the next day.

Heck, the inciting incident in Watership Down is a dream or vision by Fiver. And Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series of novels uses dreams frequently to advance the plot. Just always remember: While a dream can alter the plot, don't ever say it was all just a dream.

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Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

If you want to learn how to write a story, but aren’t quite ready yet to hunker down and write 10,000 words or so a week, this is the course for you. Build Your Novel Scene by Scene will offer you the impetus, the guidance, the support, and the deadline you need to finally stop talking, start writing, and, ultimately, complete that novel you always said you wanted to write.

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