Four writing prompts: Betrayal

Good stories center on the clashing of characters’ goals and motivations. Sometimes a character’s goals and motivations arise from or are affected by being tricked or deceived. Here are four writing prompts for stories that center on betrayal.

Man vs. nature
A man who should have been hailed as a hero is betrayed and left to die in an unforgiving environment. How does he survive the obstacles nature throws at him? As overcoming these hurdles, what skills or knowledge does he gain that allows him to either thrive in there or upon reaching his homeland to return his status to that of a hero?

Man vs. man
What if our protagonist’s best friend betrays him? How does our main character cope with this realization? How does he set things straight, such as revenge or redoubling his efforts to achieve his goals despite the betrayal?

Man vs. society
Our main character discovers that several people in her organization (business, political office, etc.) who are in his employ have betrayed him. Firing those people isn’t enough, though, for they’ve tied up the organization in deals and secrets that will cause his fall and financial ruin. How does he unravel the truth behind these betrayals and right her ship before it sinks?

Man vs. himself
To achieve an important objective that will save a number of people, the main character must betray those who are closest to him – perhaps his family, perhaps an organization he belongs to. What inner struggles does the character go through to decide if he should commit this betrayal? Do the needs of the many truly outweigh the needs of the few – even if those few mean more to the main character than anyone else?