Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, unveil a big deception from an unreliable narrator or character.
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, Still Alive, here.
Plot Twist Story Prompts: Big Deception
For today’s prompt, unveil a big deception from an unreliable narrator or character. One familiar way that writers use this plot twist is to set up a character who just seems too good to be true—maybe even to the point that they’re considered a suspected villain (but then shown that they’re definitely as good as advertised)—only to find out that they are, in fact, a bad character. That is a big deception.
Now this could be a good character who is actually bad, sure; but remember the pendulum could swing the other way and unveil a bad character as good. In some genres, the deceptions could spiral down so far that even the characters aren’t sure where their allegiances are until the moment of truth. But for this prompt, we’re making the assumption that the character knew all along to deceive those around them.
Of course, it’s one thing for a character described in the third person to pull off the deception, but narrators have been known to deceive as well. An unreliable narrator can make for some very interesting stories, but the author (you) needs to provide some clues in interactions with other characters and/or descriptions to make the big deception not feel like a trick.
However you decide to come at this plot twist prompt, be sure to unveil a big deception to see where it takes your characters and story next.
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.