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, Forget the Plan, here.
Plot Twist Story Prompts: Hero Must Die
For today's prompt, your hero must die (or expect to die). He or she must either sacrifice themself to save the others (whoever they are) and/or expect that they have to die to save everyone else. This is a super old and popular plot twist, because death is often seen as the ultimate sacrifice.
Still, readers rarely want their heroes to die and stay dead. So it's very possible that your hero dies and then reemerges victorious. For instance, Sherlock Holmes "died" battling Professor Moriarty in "The Adventure of the Final Problem" (or just "The Final Problem"), but then he came back from the dead (and explained why he faked his death) in "The Adventure of the Empty House."
But not every death is faked. Harry Potter actually dies in the final act of the Potter series before coming back to battle Voldemort. Following a similar Christian arc, Aslan "survives" dying in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Of course, there are also many villains who live on after dying. One of the most famous in the comics world is Batman's Joker who has probably been locked up and/or killed more than a score of times, but still continues to return. In fact, using the Harry Potter example mentioned earlier, Voldemort returns from the dead as well. Perhaps the popularity in these plot twists is found in the thought that the forces of good and evil never completely die.
So have your heroes (and villains, for that matter) die, and see what happens next.
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.