Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it’s time to confront an abandoned destination.

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, Bad Idea, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Abandoned Place

For today’s prompt, have your characters confront an abandoned destination. Stories are filled with abandoned places, whether they’re abandoned hospitals, abandoned mines, abandoned amusement parks, or abandoned towns. These are often places that once were filled with life but are now empty (or so everyone believes).

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

One nice feature of the abandoned place plot twist is that the location itself takes on the guise of a character, often a mysterious character and sometimes as a character with its own stories and myths attached. That abandoned house isn’t just a house (like every other house on the block); it’s the house where the kid went missing, the mother lost her mind, the father killed himself, and sounds can be heard coming from it on certain nights.

Another nice feature of the abandoned place is that it often forces the writer to consider the motivation for going there in the first place. Are kids going there on a dare? Are adults going there to unlock a mystery? Are either headed to the abandoned place to hide out? There should be some form of motivation, even if it’s to prove bravery to friends or a potential love interest.

Also, don’t forget that abandoned places aren’t always empty. Since many people usually know about abandoned places, they may have guests (like criminals hiding out or a squatter seeking shelter). And, of course, abandoned places are great for playing with the supernatural.

So send your characters to an abandoned place 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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