Skip to main content

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Give Order

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

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, Under the Influence, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Give Order

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Give Order

For today's prompt, have a character give an order. That is, have one character tell another character(s) what to do...and maybe how to do it. It should be noted that this is not a polite request, though it doesn't necessarily have to be a mean-spirited command.

(5 moral dilemmas that make your characters and stories better.)

For instance, a teacher may tell his students to write a report or a parent may order her child to take out the trash. In both instances, the "order" could be very matter of fact and without too much emotion on the part of the person giving the order. But the reaction from the character(s) receiving the order may vary.

In one of my favorite short stories, Herman Melville's "Bartleby," the character Bartleby is often given orders, and his classic response is, "I would prefer not to." And that's where the potential for conflict enters the story: Between giving the order and whether the order is followed (or how it's followed).

After all, a character could follow an order but follow it in their own way. And that can provide you with some interesting threads to pull as the writer. So give an order or two and see where that takes your story.

*****

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.

From Script

Character Exploration and Development in Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers, showrunners and more who share a common thread of character exploration and development!

Janet Key: On Letting Your Novel Take Shape

Janet Key: On Letting Your Novel Take Shape

Author Janet Key discusses the experience of letting the novel take shape through the editorial process for her debut novel, Twelfth.

Benjamin Myers: On Fleeting Moments Becoming Finished Novels

Benjamin Myers: On Fleeting Moments Becoming Finished Novels

Award-winning author and journalist Benjamin Myers discusses the out-of-body experience of having the idea for his new novel, The Perfect Golden Circle.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 7 WDU Courses, a Chat With Ran Walker, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce 7 WDU courses, a chat about flash fiction with Ran Walker, and more!

Christopher Stollar | How to Crowdfund Your Book

How to Crowdfund Your Book

Crowdfunding in publishing has received a lot of attention in recent months. Successful crowd-funder and author Chris Stollar shares his tips for realistic and practical tips to make crowdfunding work for you.

12 Dos and Don’ts of Revealing Critical Backstory in a Novel

12 Dos and Don’ts of Revealing Critical Backstory in a Novel

How much backstory is too much backstory, and how do we know when we haven’t given enough? Here, bestselling author Jenna Kernan offers six dos and six don’ts of revealing critical backstory in a novel.

How and Why To Turn Your Play Into a Novel

How and Why To Turn Your Play Into a Novel

Award-winning novelist and playwright Lynne Kaufman discusses the differences, similarities, and benefits of turning your play into a novel.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Thinking There’s Not Enough Room for Your Story

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Thinking There’s Not Enough Room for Your Story

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is thinking there's not enough room for your story.

The Head and the Heart: 5-Minute Memoir

The Head and the Heart: 5-Minute Memoir

In this article from the March/April 2022 issue of Writer's Digest, Lauryne Wright writes about rejection, rumination, and staying true to the creative voice inside ourselves.