Curses, Superstition and Plot Twisting

If you’ve ever read Stephen King’s, “Thinner” then you know just how riveting the plot twist of a good curse on your main character can be.

Have you considered how a curse or superstition could propel a stuck plot into high gear forward?
(A superstition could even serve as a token!)

For fun, play around with the idea of all the ways you could use curses on objects, characters, places, days of the year, anything at all really.

Just info dump anything to be cursed on to a page. Then use those ideas for a bounty of writing prompts for the cold months ahead.

If your feeling generous share some of your thoughts here with the group. (You never know just how you might inspire someone else by doing so).

While you’re brain storming all the possible applications of this plot twist, game changer of fiction, check out this article,
Plot Twist Story Prompts: Cursed by ROBERT LEE BREWER for Writer’s Digest.


Which do you like better, classic curses like a looted treasure from an Egyptian tomb?

Or something more obscure, like an opus of cursed sheet of music that keeps being rediscovered by composers over the centuries?

Do you know of any juicy suspenseful stories with a curse in the plot that you could recommend for our reading club?


The Bottle Imp, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

A bottle, an imp, a wish, a curse.


Excellent gift for us all, @DeAnna DeAnna - thank you so much. :slight_smile:


Wow. Your nudge yanked a murky memory to the surface:
I used to fight off boredom by writing and sharing weekly short stories with my machine shop workmates. We drew from a jar filled with their random genres, various objects, and a bunch of scene locations and I had a week to pass around the resulting printed story.

One such draw pulled romance, a penny, and a fresh lobster market stall. I think it ended up a favourite because of my plot twist using a cursed penny to create chaos to the would-be pair of lovers, making the ending reveal super hilarious.

Just so happens it’s the PERFECT time to start doing this again, but with my story loving 4 yr old granddaughter filling the jar and me reading my result during her every other weekend visits (thereby building not just a nice memory but a physical collection- written just for her- to keep as a family heirloom?:crossed_fingers:).

Gotta thank you BIG time for the inspiration!!

1 Like

@Donna-mae this is so beautiful and heartwarming!
You inspired me right back!!!

My grown children are always calling me for recipes they grew up enjoying. I had been considering creating a family recipe book.

Still I’ve been putting it off due to lack of literary creativity involved with copying recipes.

It felt more like a daunting chore. Albeit a gift out of love is time well spent I was not excited about the project.

I also feared I would not have enough recipes to fill past the size of an IKEA instruction manual (unless I wrote them out in 5 different languages for filler).

I’m not exactly sure how this message of yours trip wired an idea in my brain, but I have decided to make the cook book look like a witches spell book and include some quality family stories in between recipes.

It all clicked because of what you said about writing just to read for your grand daughter and creating an heirloom in the process.

I instantly remembered I used to read my children my favorite childhood chapter books (most were magical stories full of witches, mysteries and enchantments) as a wind down in the evening.

As a tradition when ever the power went out in winter storm weather I read out loud spooky children’s ghost stories. Complete with candle light, a roaring fire and hot cocoa all around.

They would so get a kick out of a cheeky spell book of recipes!

Thank you for the post! Now I am MOTIVATED!!!

Please do if you feel like it would be fun for you, share a bit of your writing here. We would love to be part of your process!


By coincidence, this week I threw into Book Three the Guild-Mother of the Apothegem’s Guild (to work out some plot wrinkles later in the book). Our protagonists get her out of a dangerous riot and they take shelter in nearby apothecary’s shop. Here we go:

They were in the work room behind a shop, seen through the low arch. The work room itself was a marvel. The shelves that lined the walls were packed with row upon row of glass jars containing various exotic spices with unfamiliar names and small bottles of dark liquids, labeled with the names of obscure wild berries and plants. Strange instruments of good workmanship in steel and brass, of wholly unfamiliar design stood on accessible middle shelves.

Between them all stood incense, wild almonds, vials of powders and tinctures, pots of small succulents in various colors, dried flowers, seeds, animal parts, scents, oils and extracts alongside many-colored crystals, feathers, scales, pelts, petals, bones, claws and teeth.

Bundles of sage, lavender, and mugwort hung from the rafters, along with some dozen small cages, several of which were covered and gently shaking.

A work table in the center had a steel top, in places burned and blacked from the spirit lamps and braziers heating assorted bowls and pots. The remainder of the surface was filled with bowls, vials and a handful of mortar and pestles of various sizes.

The smell of herbs, tinctures and potions combined, a mixture of the pungent, the sickly and the downright vile. Over the fire stretched a steel rack on which were hooked a row of cast iron pots, bubbling and smelting.


You completely took me there!

BTW I’m pretty certain this is where my mother shopped for all her home remedies. They all worked like a charm because they were so disgusting you wouldn’t dare get sick again, with anything EVER! Hahahaha!


A rare passage where I think my descriptive prose actually works, not my strong point. And it’s mostly back-to-back lists of stuff. Oh well, it was good enough for Dickens…


Damn straight! You could be in worse company there, but I say it’s a winning formula. I fell right into it and reveled in all it’s glory of seeing through your character. The “list of stuff” added a sense of so much to take in that it needed to be listed to appreciate it.