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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weakness Becomes Strength

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character's weakness become their strength.

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, Shock to the System, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weakness Becomes Strength

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weakness Becomes Strength

For today's prompt, have a character's weakness become their strength. Here's an example: A character is picked on and given a hard time by her stepmother and mean stepsisters, so she empathizes with weaker creatures around the house and learns to find beauty in the brokenness of the world. While her step-relatives would consider her empathy and kindness a weakness, they actually lead to friendships that help free her in the end (using the Disney animated version of Cinderella as a quick example).

(How to Write Flawed Characters and Anti-Heroes.)

Of course, that example is based on a perceived "weakness" that was probably a strength all along. Another way to come at this one is to flip the script on an actual weakness. That is, a character may have a phobia that prevents them from accomplishing tasks. Maybe they're afraid of heights, scared of the dark, or horrified of public speaking. Or maybe a character has a physical limitation.

For this prompt, build up that weakness over time and then flip the script so that it becomes the character's strength. For instance, maybe a character has trouble taking in social cues and knowing what people "really mean" in certain situations; make it so that they can read people's minds. Or their fear of public speaking actually makes them an interesting, "sought after" person of mystery, because they're so standoffish (ie, terrified of speaking to people).

This plot twist can eventually turn into a double plot twist, because the character's new found strength may disappear. Or it may become obvious that the new strength has changed the character in a way that impacts relationships in a negative manner. In such cases, the character may decide to revert back to their earlier state, though they'll more commonly find a new third level that balances between the weakness and strength.

So have a character's weakness become their strength 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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