Plot Twist Story Prompts: Release the Monster

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, writers get to release monsters in whatever forms they may take.
Publish date:

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, Divine Act, here.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Release the Monster

For today's prompt, release a monster into the story. If you enter "release the" into Google, you're likely to see autofill results of "release the kraken" and "release the hounds." These are monsters in those contexts, but there are so many other monsters a writer could release.

For instance, the monster could be a virus, whether biological or technological. The monster could be a person. Or vampires. Or zombies. Maybe the monsters are a group of adults (or 4-year-olds) who didn't have their lunch. So yeah, don't forget that monsters can mean humor as much as it can lead to horror.

(5 Ways to Surprise Your Reader Without It Feeling Like a Trick.)

Speaking of zombies, any Night of the Living Dead fan knows that the most interesting thing about the living dead is not the zombies but the actions and reactions of the main characters. Do they band together? Do they tear each other apart? Monsters are great for exposing the best and worst of humanity.

So release the chickens or soggy-bottom toddlers or whatever monster you please.


horror writing kit

Learn from the experts on how to write a horror story that excites readers for decades (or centuries)! Even the scariest and most attention-grabbing horror story ideas will fall flat without a foundation of knowledge about the genre and expectations of the audience. In this collection, you'll find practical tips for writing horror stories that are plausible and cliché-free.

Click to continue.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

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 writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.


Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.


Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.


Gerald Brandt: Toeing the Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Science fiction author Gerald Brandt explains how this new series explores the genre boundary and how he came to find his newest book's focus.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Moment of Doubt

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character experience a moment of doubt.


Caitlin O'Connell: Finding Connection and Community in Animal Rituals

In this post, Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares what prompted her to write a book about finding connection and community in animal rituals, what surprised her in the writing process, and much more!


New Agent Alert: Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.