Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, place your character back in their normal routine.

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, Set a Trap, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Back to the Grind

For today’s prompt, place a character back in their normal routine. I admit that I can already see all the comments on social media about this plot twist prompt being ridiculous, but hear me out: For this to be a plot twist, your character has to have earlier been in a less than ordinary (for them) situation. Now, they’re re-entering the norm: What’s that like?

(5 Things Writers Should Know About Flight Attendants.)

Here’s a scenario: A character goes on a trip and meets someone that sparked something in them (whether attraction, love, etc.), but now, they’re back in an office environment waging war with a stapler that won’t staple correctly. How does this impact your character? Will they continue suffering through pointless meetings or do something drastic?

This trope is used sometimes in stories about characters who return from wars or battles and have to deal with PTSD. Or someone returning to “regular life” after time spent in prison or a medical facility of some type. In such cases, the return to a “normal routine” creates a new trajectory for the character.

Of course, this is also a great fit for people in the education system, whether teachers or students, who may be returning “back to the grind” after a planned (summer, spring, winter, or fall) break.

So put a character back into a normal routine and see what happens as a result.


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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