Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it’s time for a little unexpected team work.

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, Being Followed, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Team Up

For today’s prompt, have an unexpected grouping of characters team up for a common purpose. Perhaps, it’s two strangers who are confronted with a natural or manmade disaster. Or two people who dislike each other in school are forced to complete a group project for a class. Maybe two characters are even trying to kill each other when a more dangerous foe enters the battle.

(Forced Proximity: 50 Reasons for Your Characters to Be Stuck Together.)

The unexpected team up twist can make stories fun for a variety of reasons. To begin with, they can add more drama and conflict to a story, especially if the characters already have a conflicted history. Plus, that can make for some great moments for authentic tension-breaking humor.

Finally, people (readers) love to see other people (characters) come together, whether that means falling in love or pulling together to face a common enemy. Think of the three protagonists in Jaws. Without spoiling, there’s friction between the various personalities until they start comparing scars and become chums. 

People love those moments when characters can set aside their differences and find their commonalities. It’s human nature to yearn for harmony, even as the world (and ironically human nature itself) tends to push against that potential for harmonious living. That said, some unexpected team ups only last as long as they absolutely have to (and sometimes shorter than that).

So have your characters team up in an unexpected way 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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