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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Map It Out

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters use a map.

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, Leader Removed, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Map It Out

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Map It Out

For today's prompt, have your characters use a map. There are times in some stories where characters just have to take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. They have to look at their biggest obstacles and figure out their plan for finding success. And many times this is accomplished (or not accomplished) with the use of a map.

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

I prefer to use literary references, but there are two non-book examples that immediately come to mind. In Stranger Things 2, Will Beyers literally draws a map (that people didn't originally realize was a map) to help the characters navigate their way to the source of their problems (and to rescue Hopper). The map itself was a central plot twist.

In the other non-book example, let's jump back to the original Blair Witch Project in which the characters use a map to navigate the woods in their documentary. Different people have control of the map at different times and at one point a character reveals he actually got rid of the map. And honestly, that's when everything really starts going off the rails for the trio.

Listen: Many people love maps. That's why they're often included in fantasy novels. Maps are a powerful visual tool for readers, sure, but don't forget that your characters may recognize the power inherent in a good map (and the danger inherent in a bad map).

So have your characters use a map, and see what happens next.

*****

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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