Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, put your characters on the run.

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, The Abandoned Place, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: On The Run

For today’s prompt, put your characters on the run. Maybe your character is falsely accused of something or under the influence, but give your character a reason to look at where they’re currently at and decide they need to escape somewhere else. And with the emphasis on escape.

(5 Tips for Building a House or Setting That Comes Alive for Readers.)

After all, I’m not sure if a character is “on the run” if nobody cares that they left in the first place. Every so often I mention the novel Watership Down, and it’s a great example of a novel that built around being on the run, because the inciting incident of a prophecy made by Fiver is what jumpstarts the rest of the action.

When a character is on the run, they may initially be running from someone or something. However, there is usually a moment (or several moments) when the character realizes they are running toward someone or something new. And it’s usually once they make that transition that their past comes crashing back into the picture to remind them they’re still on the run.

It’s a great dynamic that has a natural and authentic bit of conflict built into the plot twist. So put your characters on the road and on the run 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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