Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, reveal that a character who was thought deceased is actually still among the living.

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, Permission to Enter, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Still Alive

For today’s prompt, reveal that a character who was thought deceased is actually still among the living. This is a familiar trope in soap operas, horror movies, and even romances. But it’s familiar, because it can be compelling when done well. After all, there are many questions that need answered when someone is proven to be still alive.

(Playing With Common Horror Tropes for Comedic Effect.)

First off, there are the questions about how the person was mistakenly thought dead in the first place. Were they shot? Caught in a house fire? Washed out to sea? Were they pronounced dead? Or was it assumed? So there are obvious questions that need answered there, and you get decide how and when these are revealed.

Then, there will be questions about what this means moving forward for the still living person, as well as the other characters. In romance, the still living person may have had a love interest who has since moved on (but have they?). In a horror or thriller, maybe the antagonist (or a protagonist) was thought dead; what does it mean that they’re still alive? 

If the character was thought dead for a long period of time, why are they just now revealing their true state? Is it possible the still living person is actually a fake? These questions and more will need answered.

So reveal that a character who was thought deceased is actually still among the living and 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.

Click to continue.

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