5 Tips to Find Short Story Ideas With a Twist- Let Readers Buzz Like Flies [➕17 Story Ideas]

Last updated on March 11th, 2023 at 01:00 pm

Have you come across anything like short story ideas with a twist?

If not, you will learn the whole idea soon and see some examples too.

If yes, you will definitely be able to hone your skill more.

Here, we shall explore how the writers create the so called ‘twist’ in the story. As a writer, learning this has a direct relation with your ability to create engagement.

The Meaning of ‘Short Story Ideas With a Twist’

We all have come across short stories. Some of them attract our attention more than others. The reason why some short stories have an edge, is perhaps their unpredictability and uncommon theme.

So, how do you create this edge?

You need an altogether different kind of short story idea. Once you get an idea to build an unexpected turn in the course of events, you can write that story with an edge.

In this post, we shall discuss the techniques that are in fact approaches to finding short story ideas with a twist.

Whereas short story writers with some writing experience may also pick a few good tricks from this post, the biggest beneficiaries could be amateur story writers and school students.

So, let’s learn some fresh hacks to hit upon new short story ideas – ones with a twist.

Opening Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

Why is an Unexpected Plot Twist Needed?

The very anatomy of the human brain is such that it keeps searching for new things. Whenever it finds anything original, it starts pursuing it of its own.

You might have observed that when we are able to guess the climax of a story, the interest declines. On the other hand, the TRP of the shows that keep us on tenterhooks, increases sharply.

So, as far as the engagement of the audience is concerned, your story is a winner if it handles the ‘unpredictability’ element well.

Though we are discussing short story ideas in this post, the same goes for novels. Whenever the plot takes an unexpected turn, it becomes a page-turner.

The substance is, keep your readers on their toes. Keep them waiting if they want the mystery to be revealed soon. And when they want something to happen, do not let it happen easily.

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5 Best Tips to Find Short Story Ideas With a Twist

A change in backdrop or setting, behavior of the characters, occurrence of events, or a sudden jump in the genre may give your short story its desired turning point. Let’s explore the ways of thinking that would lead to finding new story ideas with a twist.

A twist due to a change in setting

The backdrop of the story is not likely to change much but the setting may change dramatically.

Story Idea #1: The story moves abruptly from a posh urban location to a far-flung rural spot. This could be because the protagonist has no other way to hide from the goons on a hunt.

Characteristic Change of the character

A character changes its characteristic and a twist may occur. Even the entry of an entirely fresh character in the middle of the story could be a game-changer.

Story Idea #2: Though everything looked fine, Rodrigues, the head of the space mission, was suspicious of the success of his team. Then suddenly Newcomb’s name flashed in his mind. Newcomb was a computer science graduate in Engineering from MIT.

Events do not follow a general logic

Even where there can be only two outcomes, you need to think of a third option and that could generate short story ideas with a twist.

Story Idea #3: The lead female character promises to meet the protagonist at a spot near a landmark. The hero waits. There can only be two things. She would either come or not. However, the story writer may come up with a third option. She would come but the hero will not recognize her because she is in disguise.

Change of genre

The story develops a twist because it changes its very genre. This kind of change gives the weirdest twists to the tale.

Story Idea #4: Prajakta had reached such a deadlock from where there was no way out. Her poverty would neither let her continue her studies nor mix with well-to-do people. How would she find a job? Then a saint appears on the scene. When the saint gives her a magic ring, things start moving in her favor.

Twist due to a Change of Period

Have you seen subheadings like these?

  • Two years later …
  • 5 hours ago …
  • Sometime in January 2018 …

These are all examples where a change of time period brings about the twist in the story. Look in the following example how the change in period percolates into the story slowly and you perceive something significant is about to come.

Story Idea #5: Trees were in full bloom and the air was fragrant. It was the next spring after the sad thing had occurred. I happened to meet her by chance. And I must admit, though she looked more beautiful than ever, there was no smile on her face. She glanced at me in a deadpan manner and looked weak. This was not the Garima I had known. What had happened to her in course of a year?

Examples of Short Story Ideas With a Twist

Following are some examples of short story ideas with a twist from various genres:

Scary short story ideas with a twist

Story Idea #6: There is an abandoned washroom on one corner of the playground. One player accidentally unlocks it and finds a skeleton therein.

Story Idea #7: She can read minds. Talking to the people around her gives her a sense of events that are going to take place in the near future. She predicts a murder and the guess goes right. A serial killer takes responsibility for the same. The drama intensifies when the mind reader girl predicts her interviewer as the next target of the serial killer.

Thriller short story ideas with a twist

Story Idea #8:Two friends bet on the outcome of a basketball match. One of the friends who loses the bet, comes to know about a deadly conspiracy. Was the match fixed?

Story Idea #9: Heranku, a night-shifter in a remote railway station, comes to know about a sabotage planned to derail the upcoming train. Will Heranku be able to thwart the mishap on a stormy, dark night?

Story Idea #10: A huge arson breaks out in a multistoried tower. The tower is being evacuated. A baby is trapped on the sixth floor. Two college students who have been expelled from college and are hated by everyone, think this is their day. They decide to dare in and save the baby.

Sad story ideas with a twist

Story Idea #11: On the eve of her wedding day, Kelly happens to know about her long-time fiancée’s other affair. When Kelly unveils the truth, she learns it was all for a very noble cause. She is proud of her fiancée but what would she do?

Story Idea #12: People often laugh at Goldy’s stupidity. Only his GF Blew knows what a gem of a person he is. To treat Blew’s mother’s cancer, Goldy sells all his property and gives the money to Blew. By Almighty’s grace her mother is out of danger now. However, Blew marries another man saying she has to do it under compulsion. People are making a mockery of Goldy once again.

Short story ideas with a twist for school students

Story Idea #13: Every morning Sunidhi goes for a walk in the park. There she meets a magic bird. To her amazement, the bird understands human language and follows instructions.

Story Idea #14: Oshin waits all day but no one in the house and none of her friends wishes her on her birthday. She thinks her parents and brother want to throw a surprise in the evening.  However, nothing happens. What’s the matter?

Story Idea #15: The judges in a realty show overlook an orphan boy’s performance. They award another performer whose attempt is definitely inferior to that of the orphan boy. A spectator challenges the judges’ decision. A celebrity intervenes and it is decided that the real winner would be selected in a one-to-one live contest.

Story Idea #16: Ranjana is worried about her friend Lakshmi who has not been coming to school for about a week. All her efforts to contact her go in vain. Baffled, she visits her house. Laxmi’s mother informs her that Laxmi would continue further studies in Bengaluru. Among other things, Ranjana comes across a strange fact. Laxmi had expressed her hatred for Ranjana and requested her parents to shift her to some far-away school.

Story Idea #17 :A schoolboy goes missing on an excursion tour of a school. Teachers lodge a complaint with the police. When they return, the boy is found sleeping behind the stack of luggage on the bus.

Keep a List of Plot Ideas With a Twist

This is the best thing not to stumble upon a writer’s block.

Think of new short story ideas with a twist and maintain a list of them by genre.

This will turn you into a very productive writer, I bet. When the ideas lie all around you, you can write in comfort.

So, don’t wait for anything and go on writing goosebumps stories one after another.

Some More Resources on Writing Stories

Here is a list of some links that can help you sharpen your story writing skills to a different level.

How to Write a Short Story: 5 Major Steps from Start to Finish

How to Write a Short Story In 5 Steps: Writing Tips for Great Story Ideas

How to Write a Short Story Outline -The Fast and Easy Way

How to Write Flash Fiction Super Fast – With Examples

5 Powerful Writing Techniques That Bring Stories to Life