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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Mistaken Identity

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, share a case of mistaken identity.

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, Contrary Act, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Mistaken Identity

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Mistaken Identity

For today's prompt, share a case of mistaken identity. Have a character (or characters) honestly believe someone is somebody who they are not. There are a few ways you can accomplish this.

(5 Ways to Increase Conflict in a Story.)

First, it could be an honest case of mistaken identity. Someone is sure they spot Elvis on the streets of Davenport, Iowa. They may decide to tell the person they think he's Elvis, or they may "know" he's Elvis but not say a word, which could lead to some humorous situations. But eventually, the person either says something or the "Elvis who isn't Elvis" realizes what's going on and says, "No, I'm not Elvis."

A second option is to have a character take on the identity of another person, so that the mistaken identity is actually intentional (on the part of the person taking on the identity). A top secret lab is expecting a scientist, who arrives. But guess what? The "scientist" is actually a spy.

Finally, your protagonist could be the object of the mistaken identity. Maybe they realize right away, but maybe they don't. Either way, they have a decision to make: Do I correct the error? Or do I roll with it? Only you can decide which path leads to a better 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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