Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, your character receives an unexpected break or benefit.

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, Not There, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Break

For today’s prompt, give your character an unexpected break or benefit. In a murder mystery, this break might be a big clue or discovery that appears to get the investigators closer to solving the mystery. In a romance, maybe it’s the protagonist is unexpectedly asked out by their crush.

(How to Write a Romance Novel: The Keys to Conflict.)

But be on alert! While unexpected breaks can make a story feel like it’s rushing to its conclusion, there’s often a setback waiting behind every good moment. The big clue or discovery may be a red herring and/or lead to a dead end. The unexpected date might end in disaster or never happen at all.

Of course, the unexpected break does not have to relate to the main plot. For instance, a character may get promoted or offered a new job that pays twice as much. Free trips or vacations are popular benefits that can send your character somewhere new and exciting. Perhaps the benefit is as simple as free tickets to a concert (where something good or bad will happen).

So give your characters an unexpected break 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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