Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your character know they’re being followed.

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, Cursed, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

For today’s prompt, let your character know they’re being followed. There may be no greater literary technique for building suspense than to create a situation in which your characters know they’re being followed by someone or something. And it’s great for story, because this situation automatically provokes questions that need answers.

(5 Tips for Writing Scary Stories.)

First off, who (or what) is following your characters? Is the follower a friend or foe? Are they native to the area, or have they been following your characters for a while? But the answers to these questions only prompt more.

Do the followers intend to attack your characters? Are they suspicious of your characters? Would they like to join your characters? Or are they merely curious of your characters’ intentions? Your readers will asking these questions, but your characters should consider them as well.

If you have a group of characters, don’t shy away from having one or more characters overreact to being followed. It’s natural for people to assume the worst, and maybe a character believes they’re being followed by an evil force bent on their destruction (when in actuality, it’s just some curious kids). Of course, it’s also very possible that those worst fears are justified (and maybe even underselling the threat).

So let your characters know they’re being followed and see where it takes them and your story.

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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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