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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's time to set a trap.

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, Give In, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Set a Trap

For today's prompt, have a character set a trap. For a character to set a trap, they likely need a reason to think setting a trap is something they should do. After all, most people don't just go around setting traps just for the sake of it. But give your character a motive to set a trap (maybe they're afraid of intruders or trying to figure out who keeps eating all the chocolate chip cookies at night). This alone will help guide your story and character arc.

(What Is a Narrative Arc or Story Arc?)

Once your character has their motivation, it's time to think about the actual trap. What kind of amazing (or flimsy) contraption is your character going to design? Is it a simple motion detector alarm or some wild Rube Goldberg machine with several wild steps? Your character's trap can say a lot about the character.

Then, you get to decide if the trap will work or not. I love watching Scooby-Doo cartoons, and Fred is always setting traps (traps that rarely seem to work). If the trap works, great! (Sherlock Holmes is usually good at setting traps that work.) But if it doesn't work, maybe the perpetrator leaves a trap of their own or a taunt of some sort. Maybe they get away, but at least your character knows who it is now (or who sent them).

Setting the trap can be the step that gets your character closer to The End, but it can also catch them up in a whole new series of events. So have fun with this one.

*****

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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