Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Mission

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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, Transgression Moment, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Mission

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Mission

For today’s prompt, send your character (or characters) on a mission. The unexpected mission could be to send a hobbit with a group of dwarves to seek treasure (The Hobbit), or the mission could be to meet with three spirits about lifestyle choices (A Christmas Carol). The mission could be public or covert.

(4 Tips on Writing an Epic Fantasy That’s Also a Page Turner.)

One obvious benefit of sending your characters on a mission is that it does get your characters moving, which is great for plot. And any mission, regardless of the stakes, likely has varying odds of success or failure. The higher the stakes the more opportunity a writer has to build drama and suspense.

Another intrinsic benefit of sending a character on a mission is that it’s a great opportunity for character development. Does the character jump at the chance to go on this mission? Are they opposed to the mission? Do they feel it’s a great opportunity or, conversely, beneath them? These are great questions to explore.

Of course, some missions are likely to have a series of hurdles, missteps, and plot twists of their own along the way. Maybe bridges are out, offices are closed, or dragons are sleeping. Plus, there’s the question of what happens after the mission is completed. Mountaineers are often quick to point out that sometimes the most dangerous part of a climb isn’t on the way up but on the way back down after the summit.

So send your character on a mission 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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