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.
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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, 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.

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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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