Turn Common Conventions on Their Head
Long Lost Siblings
This is a commonly used plot twist in all forms of media. The protagonist who thought they had no one else in the world discovers they have a long lost sibling who they must now go searching for. Here’s some ideas I’ve had about how to give this a fresh new look:
1. It doesn’t have to be that big of a deal. I mean, it would be poor writing for your character not to be shocked about having a sibling unless a proper explanation is given, but they don’t have to actively seek them out. Perhaps they decide that their mission is too dangerous to get them involved, or maybe they don’t feel worthy of knowing their sibling because of their sins (YuYu Hakusho anyone?). Or maybe they do meet and the sibling decides not to come with them, essentially you’re making the statement that blood doesn’t have to thicker than water, that intentionally made bonds are stronger than those your expected to have.
2. They were the lucky one’s. Usually, if one of the children were abandoned, they are the ones to experience the hardships of life, but what if it was the other way around? Imagine your character goes through your story angry at their family for abandoning them, only to discover that their parents were horrible abusers, and in an act to save them their older sibling hid them away so they didn’t have to suffer.
3. The Prophecy. Picture this: Your character is part of a famous bloodline who passes magical powers to one child every time, and as such their family made a pact to only ever have one child to prevent competition, as if the child was killed the powers would move to the next worthy child. The protagonist was unfortunately a twin and the family decided that one of them had to die. The mother, who married into the family couldn’t stand that fact and so ran away with the child, leaving the other to continue the legacy.
4. An Unhappy end. I tend to see that stories which use this trope tend to have medieval fantasy settings. Mortality rates during this time were pretty low so even though it is revealed that they have a sibling, it doesn’t necessary mean that they’re still alive. Combine this with the idea above and have one sibling hunting for their twin in order to kill them and obtain the magic powers and you have a story of the corruption of power and how it can even stain something so pure as a love for a sibling.
And there we go! Hope that helps you all. If you have your own trope you want me to look at please fell free to ask me.