Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave clues for people to find them.

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 Not Worst, here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

For today’s prompt, have a character leave clues for people to find them. In a mystery novel, culprits may leave accidental clues that lead investigators to find them, for sure; but for this prompt, the clues left should be intentional. That is, the characters leaving the clues want to be discovered.

(5 Tips for Writing a Search Story.)

For example, a character is kidnapped by a nefarious group of people. The character knows they can’t escape, but they can leave clues for their friends (or other interested parties) to find them (or at least know they’re still alive). Clues may include coded (or uncoded) messages or articles of clothing (or pieces of food) normally associated with the kidnapped character.

Of course, kidnapping is not the only reason for a character to leave clues for them to be found. Another reason may be as simple as making a game for others to join. It’s easy to see how this might be a fun exercise in a romance novel with a romantic date or proposal at the end of the scavenger hunt.

Whatever the motivation, have a character leave clues for people to find them, 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.

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