Plot Twist Story Prompts: New Hurdle - Writer's Digest

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.
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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

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!

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