Plot Twist Story Prompts: Weather Breaks - Writer's Digest

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.
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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, 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.

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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?


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