Forum Friday: Plot Ninjas

Since today is the start of Nanowrimo, I thought I’d mix things up a little and rather than ask a question, prompt those of you reading this to provide a plot ninja.

What is a plot ninja?

A plot ninja is a random plot twist. “Protagonist finds a note taped to her refrigerator.” “Antagonist is mistaken for a celebrity.” “Portal to Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen opens up in the floor.”

These devices are great for keeping things interesting 10, 20, 30K into a work when either you start to lose steam or you reach a saggy middle section of the story. And the best plot ninjas are the ones that come from somebody else– because they are totally foreign to your story! An injection of fresh blood! Without sounding vampiric or like someone who takes the phrase ‘young blood’ literally.

Help other writers– post a plot ninja in the comments below!

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12 responses to “Forum Friday: Plot Ninjas”

  1. A small bird flies in the main character’s window and can’t be coaxed out.

    1. Omg! I have lived this in real life! (Not my personal window, but…) Good one.

      1. I think the best plot ninjas are those that set something up for resolution later. I’ll check back to this post when I need one later this week!

  2. 3/4 of the way through COUNTING TO D, the MC gets a phone call from her estranged father (who she hasn’t seen for 8 years).

    1. Ooh! Family tension. That’s a good realistic one.

  3. Hundreds of orange peels discovered in bathroom stall.

    1. Hahahah! This one has me imagining ludicrous explanations! I just might steal this for use in some other story…

      1. Lol. I give you full responsibility for its usage. If it pops up in a best seller then I would like a shout out at the very least.

  4. A nun sets off a stink bomb and then a real one.

    1. LOL. And I want to know why! Oh, that’s good Laekan…this makes me want to envision her story!

  5. Good comments! Lol at jclfaltot & laekenzeakemp as I can’t imagine how they might advance a story but they’re excellent šŸ™‚ Ensis’ might be symbolic of problems in a character’s life and Kate’s is a proper one!
    What I tend to do if stuck is to abruptly introduce a new character/storyline from left field which ends up merging with the main story.and (hopefully) adding to it.

    1. It’s nice to have a somewhat formulaic approach. And I like the idea of that constant, because while the idea of introducing a new character/storyline will remain the same the variables/direction it goes will always turn out differently.

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