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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, invite an unexpected visitor into your story.

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, Approaching Deadline, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Visitor

For today's prompt, invite an unexpected visitor into your story. The unexpected visitor could be a stranger, an old acquaintance, or someone seen on a daily basis (though not someone they're expecting as a visitor). Since this visit is unexpected, it already jolts the expected pattern of the plot, but how much is up to you.

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

The first question to answer is: "Why is the unexpected visit happening?" Possible reasons might be to check that a character is okay after a traumatic experience. Or maybe the visitor is hiding from the law or an abusive partner. It's also plausible that a visitor would be delivering news of a personal nature or asking for a favor. Plus, I'm sure there are many other possibilities you can imagine.

But keep in mind that motivations could be multi-layered, because the reason the visitor gives may not be the same as what their real intention is. For instance, the visitor says they're visiting because "I was in the neighborhood," but they're really trying to steal the secret formula for some new scientific breakthrough.

Or maybe the character has been coerced into doing something they wish they didn't have to do. It's also possible the visitor is not who he, she, or it (thinking robots and magical creatures here) pretends to be.

So invite an unexpected visitor into your story and see what happens next.

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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.

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Small Comforts

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