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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Personal Artifact

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, we think about how a story may change when a character finds an object from their past.

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, Weather Breaks, here.

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Personal Artifact

For today's prompt, have a character find an object from their past. The object could be something as personal as a photograph or journal. Or it could be a complimentary or derogatory note (or letter) that involves them that they had never seen before. Of course, you could also make it something fun like an old treasure map.

(Literary Scavenger Hunts: The MacGuffin.)

Finding an old object may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it can alter a timeline if the character finds it at the right (or wrong) moment. For instance, imagine a character just had a big blow up argument (maybe after a few other arguments) with someone they love and is stewing over it in their room...until he or she comes across an old photograph of them both posing together with giant smiles (and maybe there's a sweet note on the back).

But the object could also make a good situation turn on its head too. Maybe everything begins to move in a good direction for a couple when a character finds an old love letter intended for someone else (or that puts the character down). It's the type of moment that can challenge a relationship for good or bad.

So while they may seem innocuous, remember that objects from the past can turn a story in a completely new direction.

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If you want to learn how to write a story, but aren't quite ready yet to hunker down and write 10,000 words or so a week, this is the course for you. Build Your Novel Scene by Scene will offer you the impetus, the guidance, the support, and the deadline you need to finally stop talking, start writing, and, ultimately, complete that novel you always said you wanted to write.

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