Skip to main content
Publish date:

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Fall Ill

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character get sick.

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, Release the Monster, here.

plot_twist_story_prompts_fall_ill_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Fall Ill

For today's prompt, have one (or more) of your characters get sick. Let's face it: We're not all healthy all the time. Sometimes we come down with a mild cold or something much more dramatic. I think of the sickness and death in Wuthering Heights, but here's a list of other debilitating illnesses in literature.

Of course, your story will change dramatically if a major character falls ill and dies. But maybe they survive a major complication and have to overcome a chronic condition. Or perhaps, a character has to care for a person who has fallen ill or survived an illness. These would all lead to major twists in the plot.

(How to write about grief.)

However, your plot twists could be more subtle. A character tries to hide from a pursuer but has this pesky cough that threatens to reveal him or her. Or a character looks forward to a date that is suddenly canceled, because his or her date is sick (or are they?). Sometimes just getting the chills from a mild fever can up the stakes in a particular scene.

So let your characters get sick and figure out what that means for your story moving forward.

*****

short short story

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in 1,500 words or less? Enter the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

Click to continue.

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

3 Things Being a Broadway Wig Master Taught Me About Storytelling

A career behind the curtain helped Amy Neswald in creating her own stories. Here, the author shares 3 things being a broadway wig master taught her about storytelling.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Out of Control

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let things get a little out of control.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

NaNoWriMo’s Over … Now What?

After an intense writing challenge, you might feel a little lost. Here are some tips from Managing Editor and fellow Wrimo Moriah Richard for capitalizing on your momentum.

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

Ian Douglas: On Telling the Truth in Science Fiction

New York Times bestselling author Ian Douglas discusses how he incorporated implausible conspiracy theories to uncover the truth in his new science fiction novel, Alien Hostiles.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 589

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a yesterday poem.

Revenge

Revenge

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about revenge.

Peter Fiennes: On Finding Hope in the Writing Process

Peter Fiennes: On Finding Hope in the Writing Process

Critically acclaimed author Peter Fiennes discusses his quest to find hope in his new travel/Greek mythology book, A Thing of Beauty.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a The End and/or The Beginning poem.