Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weather Breaks

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, we consider how the weather can improve or diminish the prospects of certain characters and in the process changing the trajectory of the story.
Publish date:

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, Unexpected Action, here.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weather Breaks

For today's prompt, let the weather get involved in the story. This could be as simple as having the sun get in somebody's eyes while they're driving on a winding road, which causes a crash. The weather could also act as an agent to thwart the protagonist's plans or even lend a helping hand.

(5 tips for building a house or setting that comes alive for readers.)

In Watership Down, Richard Adams uses a thunderstorm to add to the sense of danger and chaos of an escape from the Efrafan society of rabbits. And in this example, Adams doesn't just throw it in as an afterthought or cute little plot point. Rather, he spreads it over multiple chapters titled "Approaching Thunder," "The Thunder Builds Up," and "The Thunder Breaks."

Of course, writers don't have to use the weather as a three-chapter arc like in Watership Down. But it shows that the weather can work in hand-in-hand with the action and add to the stakes involved in the story. In this example, Adams used this three-chapter arc to complete the penultimate third section of his novel and set up the grand conclusion of the book.

So don't forget the weather when you're considering possible plot points. I mean, what would The Shining be without the snow or Wuthering Heights without its storms?


Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

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.

Click to continue.


Making the Switch from Romance to Women’s Fiction

In this article, author Jennifer Probst explains the differences between romance and women's fiction, the importance of both, and how you can make the genre switch.


Stephanie Wrobel: On Writing an Unusual Hero

Author Stephanie Wrobel explains how she came to write about mental illness and how it affects familial relationships, as well as getting inside the head of an unusual character.


Who Are the Inaugural Poets for United States Presidents?

Here is a list of the inaugural poets for United States Presidential Inauguration Days from Robert Frost to Amanda Gorman. This post also touches on who an inaugural poet is and which presidents have had them at their inaugurations.


Precedent vs. President (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use precedent vs. president with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 554

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


New Agent Alert: Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Timothy Miller: The Alluring Puzzle of Fact and Fiction

Screenwriter and novelist Timothy Miller explains how he came to write historical fiction and how research can help him drive his plot.


Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.