Plot Twist Story Prompts: Something Breaks

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, something breaks and the characters respond.
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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, New Person, here.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Something Breaks

For today's prompt, something breaks. Ironically, my power went out yesterday, which delayed this week's post. It impacted several things that we could and could not do around our household. In a story, a broken object can impact the plot. But other things can break beyond whether you can run dishwasher or connect to the internet.

For instance, a valuable antique could be broken by a character who then tries to replace it with a worthless replica. And maybe someone finds out and tries to blackmail that character. Suddenly, you have the makings of murder mystery novel.

(Develop a fascinating premise for your mystery novel.)

Another possibility is that a character goes in search of a powerful weapon to defeat an antagonist. The protagonists get the weapon, which means they can save the day...until someone breaks it. Suddenly, the villain has the upper hand again, and the protagonists need to improvise.

Of course, you don't have to show the moment something breaks. Readers might not discover the antique was broken and replaced until closer to the end of the story. Also, it's possible the powerful weapon was broken before the protagonists retrieved it. 

So go ahead and break something in your story. And remember: The broken thing is not important to your story; it's the reaction of your characters.


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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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