Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have one character double-cross another 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, Gift Giving, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Double-Cross

For today’s prompt, have one character double-cross another character. That is, one character is supposedly working with another character and then reveals they were actually working against them all the time. This can be a powerful plot twist, because it upends the expectations of readers and characters alike.

(5 Ways to Surprise Your Reader Without It Feeling Like a Trick.)

I won’t give any spoilers, but anyone familiar with the Harry Potter novels knows this is a popular plot twist device in those books. Several characters double-cross others, sometimes without having a choice in the matter. In fact, one of the most pivotal characters tiptoes along the double-cross line throughout the series.

And that’s one way to make the double-cross among the most powerful plot twist devices in literature: Remember that the double-cross may not actually be a double-cross. Or the double-cross may be a low point, and the character who commits the double-cross may still have a moment of redemption later in the story. Of course, sometimes things are just as simple and straightforward as they seem, and the double-cross is just a double-cross.

So have a character double-cross another and see what happens next.

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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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