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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters split up.

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, Running Empty, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Split Up

For today's prompt, have your characters split up. If there are four characters, maybe they can break up into two groups of two. If there are two characters, have them both go solo. Anyone familiar with Scooby Doo cartoons knows that you can easily break up a group of five into two and three. 

(Common Writing Mistakes Writers Make.)

There are a couple benefits to a story when characters split up. First, they may become more vulnerable in a smaller group (or alone) than when they're part of a bigger group. This raises the risk and suspense, which is why it's a popular tactic in mysteries, thrillers, and horror. But that's not the only benefit of splitting up.

When characters split up, the writer can reveal information to those characters at different times and create dramatic tension. For instance, character A (and the reader) may know about a threat that is unknown to character B, who is walking right into the danger zone.

So split up your characters and find out where it takes your story.

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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.

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Memoir/Personal Essay First Place Winner: "Passion’s War"

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Memoir/Personal Essay First Place Winner: "Passion’s War"

Congratulations to LC Helms, first place winner in the Memoir/Personal Essay category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's the winning essay, "Passion’s War."

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Announcing the Winners of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition

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Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, unveil a big deception from an unreliable narrator or character.

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We asked our Instagram followers what books they suggest during spooky season. Here are the titles they recommend for a frightful night in!

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The literary landscape is as changing as our physical landscape—and one genre gaining momentum is looking to start conversations around that change. Author Marjorie B. Kellogg defines what climate fiction is, and offers some examples that suggests the cli-fi novel has been around for decades.

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Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Winning Non-Rhyming Poem: "Anticipatory Grief"

Congratulations to Melissa Joplin Higley, Grand Prize winner of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning non-rhyming poem, "Anticipatory Grief."

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Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an On Blank poem.

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Writing About Real People in Historical Fiction: What Is Factual and What Is Imagined

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When writing about real people in a real time, how do you distinguish between what is true and what is imaginary? Patti Callahan discuss how to write about real people in historical fiction.