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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Leader Removed

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, remove a leader.

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, Eliminate Threat, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Leader Removed

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Leader Removed

For today's prompt, remove a leader. The leader could be a boss, teacher, president, or even a spiritual leader. The main thing is that the leader is removed from everyone expects them to be, whether by death, resignation, relocation, or some other means.

(Politics and World-Building in Science Fiction and Fantasy.)

This simple act of leader removal produces several questions that need answered: Was the leader well liked? Did they leave a power vacuum? Are they planning to come back (and possibly resume being the leader)? Who benefits from the leader's removal? Who finds themselves at a disadvantage? And these are only the first round of questions.

In some stories, it's possible the leader's removal is only temporary. For instance, a mean boss goes off-site for the day, leaving the workers to play. In other stories, there may be foul play that sets off a murder mystery; in still others, the leader may be imprisoned or forced to go into hiding.

The nice thing about this plot twist prompt is that a leader removed almost invariably creates new power dynamics within the group. Maybe a bully who is kept at bay by the leader suddenly takes charge in negative ways. Or a previously overlooked character rises to the challenge of filling the former leader's role.

So remove a leader from your story, and see what happens next.

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40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers, Volume 2: ALL NEW Writing Ideas for Taking 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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