Plot Twist Story Prompts: Second Life

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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, Jurisdiction Battle, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Second Life

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Second Life

For today’s prompt, reveal a character’s second life. The second life could be one that’s hidden in their past. For instance, a very serious judge may conceal a dark secret of their past occupation as a stand-up comedian or as a stripper (perhaps to help pay for law school).

(Keeping Your Narrator’s Secrets When Writing a Series.)

Of course, the second life could also be one that the character is currently living. Maybe a person who travels a lot has more than one family or more than one relationship. Another possibility is that a person lives one life in the office but takes on a completely different persona after hours.

Comics are littered with these types of characters, who live one life in public and a completely other life in private. Often in comics, the vigilante is a good character who is balanced out by a “normal” public persona. But don’t forget characters like Iago in Othello or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for literary examples of villains who live a double life.

The nice thing about this plot twist is that the two lives can create an extra tension on top of the normal conflict that any story has. Characters often have reasons for concealing one life from another, and it’s not always for a nefarious purpose. In fact, there are times when a character hides their other life to “protect” others.

So reveal a character’s second life and see what happens next.


40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers: Writing Ideas for Bending Your Stories in New Directions, by Robert Lee Brewer

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.

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