Skip to main content

Plot Twist Story Prompts: New Hurdle

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, give your protagonist a new hurdle.

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, Fall Ill, here.

plot_twist_story_prompts_new_hurdle_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: New Hurdle

For today's prompt, give your protagonist a new hurdle. If they're physically running, then the hurdle could be a trash can or a fence (or even a track & field regulation high hurdle, for humor). Physical hurdles can slow or stop the momentum of the protagonist allowing the antagonist to get away or catch up.

However, don't limit yourself to physical hurdles. Metaphorical hurdles are fair game as well. These hurdles could manifest in a variety of ways. For instance, the protagonist could get the laptop computer with the antagonist's diabolical plan, only to find it's guarded by a password (aka, a hurdle).

(How a strong character arc can make readers love your protagonist.)

The hurdle could also be a person or people. For example, the protagonists need to destroy an ultimate weapon. They know the specs for the building, including how to get past the security system, navigate a maze of air ducts, and disable the weapon itself. However, somewhere in that perfect plan is a hurdle in the unexpected presence of a security guard (or guards).

Whether your hurdle is a guard dog or an actual hurdle, it serves a larger purpose in the story than just being an obstacle. It's an opportunity to reveal how your protagonists deal with adversity.

*****

short short story

We’re looking for short fiction stories! Think you can write a winning story in 1,500 words or less? Enter the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition for your chance to win $3,000 in cash, get published in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a paid trip to our ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference!

Click to continue.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Dismissing Stories That Aren’t From Books

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is dismissing stories that aren’t from books.

Why You Should Beware Homophones

Why You Should Beware Homophones

Mistaking a word for a similar one is not an uncommon mistake, but an important one to catch when editing your work. Here, Audrey Wick shares why you should beware homophones and shares a homophone-catching test to practice with.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Blackmail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, one character blackmails another.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

30 Poetry Prompts From 2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Get all 30 poetry prompts from the 15th annual November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge here. Actually, 35 prompts if you're counting Two-for-Tuesday prompts!

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

How to Stalk Publishing Professionals on Social Media in an Appropriate Way

Many people are self-professed "stalkers" on social media, whether they're following life events of friends or celebrities. But writers can learn quite a bit on social media by stalking publishing professionals too, and this post covers the appropriate way to do so.

Vérant

Samantha Vérant: On Romance and Recipes

Author Samantha Vérant discusses how her writing process changed while writing her new contemporary romance novel, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 633

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a warm up poem.

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Do I Pitch Different to Agents vs. Editors?

Every so often writers ask if they should pitch different to agents vs. editors. This post answers that question and provides some extra help on how to successfully pitch both.

Urban Legend

Urban Legend

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, feature an urban legend in your story.