Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, your characters realize the thing they’ve been searching for is not there.

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, Another Dimension, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Not There

For today’s prompt, have your characters come to the realization that the thing they’ve been searching for is not there. This may seem like an ending to some people, and it could be, sure. But for those of us who like to bend and twist plots, this moment of realization can spark new directions for characters.

(6 Tips for Developing an Exciting Fantasy Adventure Premise.)

For instance, the character who always stayed optimistic through challenge after challenge may find this is the straw that breaks their hopeful back. As a result, this character may abandon any further searching or even turn into an antagonist or hurdle for the characters who wish to push onward.

A character who was pessimistic may see the inkling of optimism, because while the person, place, or thing they were searching for is not there, maybe there’s a clue that speaks to them. And so there may be a passing of the torch.

Of course, finding nothing is there may also propel some characters to look back over decisions they’ve made leading up to this moment and realizing the person, place, or thing that really matters was discovered along the way. They may decide that’s what they need to rediscover.

So have your characters not find what they’re seeking and see what happens 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.

Click to continue.

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