Research Outline

Interesting Stories for Book Opening


To provide an author with surprising / interesting stories of historical or noteworthy characters that have a twist to assist with the writing of the first chapter of a book.

Early Findings

Plot Twists from History

  • Guff has a detailed article on “history’s greatest real life plot twists,” which include a wide selection of historical characters like Julius Caesar, JFK, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as interesting stories like how the man who created Netflix approached Blockbuster with the idea – who promptly told him it had no merit (and Netflix was instrumental in putting the movie chain out of business).
  • BoredPanda offers a set of six twisty historical tales, including one about the actual first female president of the United States, Edith Wilson.
  • Factinate has a great article on history’s unexpected plot twists that include stories about everything from crazy government experiments to murders to crafty disguises to untold mysteries.

Noteworthy Characters or Stories with Twists

  • Brightside offers 11 uplifting stories with interesting plot twists, each anecdotal stories told by their readers. Brightside also offers a collection of “24 funny stories with unexpected endings” that may appeal to readers. Each of these is anecdotal and very short.
  • Buzzfeed offers a collection of interesting and surprising facts about celebrities, including how Anne Frank would be the same age as Barbara Walters today – and so would MLK Jr had he not been assassinated.
  • Unbelievable Facts offers a collection of “15 facts about famous people that will inspire you to never give up hope.”
  • Coburgbanks offers a collection of nine inspirational stories on famous people to motivate readers, including stories about people like Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King, and JK Rowling.
  • Forbes offer “20 little-known facts about famous entrepreneurs,” like Bill Gates, Harland “Colonel” Sanders, Elon Musk, and Akio Morita.

Interesting Literature with Twists

  • Owlcation offers a collection of 69 short fiction stories that have surprise twist endings. These include well-known classics like “The Open Window” and newer stories like Shirley Jackson’s “One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts”.

Interesting Stories on Career Changes for Success

  • The Muse offers an article detailing nine career change stories to inspire those wanting to make a career change.
  • Mashable offers “5 inspiring lessons from people who drastically changed their careers and found amazing success in doing so.

Uplifting Stories of Famous People Who Turned Their Lives Around

  • AARP offers compelling stories of “7 famous people who hit bottom – and turned it around,” including stories about Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, and Michael C. Hall.
  • Global Banking and Finance Review offers “10 inspirational rags to riches celebrity stories” to inspire and motivate people to keep moving forward despite obstacles.

One Example: Abraham Lincoln

  • Abraham Lincoln is an example of a famous historical person who experienced defeats and failures (upon defeats and failures) – and yet still succeeded in becoming president of the United States.